Youth groups and employers should co-operate to help cut unemployment, according to youth service workers. Government figures show that youths aged between 15 and 19 comprised 12 per cent of Hong Kong's jobless last year - the largest statistical sector. Fu Suk-yin, the executive secretary of the Boys and Girls Clubs Association of Hong Kong, said: 'With the shifting economy, it is difficult for teenagers who have no working experience to get a job.' To help tackle the problem, the Work Guidance Project - involving networking of employers, pre-vocational training and on-the-job counselling - last year secured jobs for 50 teenagers. Ms Fu said the programme focused on giving youths work experience and improving their human relationship skills. Contact with teenagers' families was aimed at ensuring they settled into their respective industries. More vocational training and employer input was being sought and the project also would be extended to help mainland immigrants, Ms Fu said. Cheung Hau-loi, a 19-year-old sales assistant working in medical wholesaling, described his difficulties in finding work: 'I can't meet any job qualifications with a Form Five graduation certificate when I flip through newspapers for a job.' But he says his participation in the Work Guidance Project has better equipped him for a career. 'I have learned to appreciate team-work and politeness through working in sales for two months,' Hau-loi said. And he said pre-vocational training had boosted his confidence at job interviews. 'I will take some computer courses later to enhance my bargaining power in the job market,' Hau-loi said. Sales assistant Wong Ching-ying said she had been looking for work unsuccessfully since early this year. 'It is really frustrating to be turned down frequently,' the 19-year-old said. 'I had been job-hunting for four months but it resulted in nothing.' Her future looked uncertain until she got a job in the clothing industry after joining the project. 'Although the work pressure is high, I enjoy working with my colleagues as we support each other,' Ching-ying said. She realises her nine-month work experience stint in the industry was invaluable in imparting knowledge about fabrics and improving customer relations' skills. Ten Hong Kong companies are involved in the Work Guidance Project and they try to find openings for local teenagers. Law Po-chuen, the service manager at Fullness Auto Service Centre, said: 'Besides skills for vehicle maintenance, we also instil in teenagers discipline and a good working attitude.' The Boys and Girls Clubs Association of Hong Kong, which organises the project, is a non-government, voluntary organisation.