An innovative project provided unemployed early school-leavers with useful training and work opportunities. The Boys' and Girls' Clubs Association of Hong Kong launched the 'Sau Chok Jai Alliance' (handimen alliance) job training scheme last March for unemployed youths aged 14-18. Project officer Dora Ngan Ching-ching said 120 young people had participated in the project and half of them had finished both the one-month training and the two-month internships. Forty-three participants have since found employment. Ms Ngan said those who left school before Form Five lacked academic qualifications and good communication skills, which made it difficult for them to find work. During the one-month training, participants learn how to deal with pressure, develop self- discipline and be responsible towards work. They also learn practical English, Putonghua and computer skills. The internships take place at companies ranging from restaurants, offices, hair salons, launderettes and garages. Over 40 employers were willing to offer internship places for participants. Employers pay each intern $1,500 a month as allowance. Kitty Tse Kit-ling, marketing manager of Le Grain De Seneve Publishing which accepted in terns for the project, said: 'I am pleased to provide opportunities for youths and our intern gave me the impression that he was willing to work.' Ms Tse admitted the company had saved work on recruitment through employing an office assistant through the project. She said at first, the intern seldom talked to other colleagues. After some weeks, however, she noticed a change and he had begun to greet others. Mabel Tam Mei-po, 17, joined the project last year and did her internship at a hair salon. Mei-po had quit school in Form Three. Now she is able to set fashionable hairstyles for clients and she promises to work hard in the future. 'Although I'm not good at studying, I hope I can find my way again in this salon. I'm more active and optimistic now,' she said.