The Vocational Training Council (VTC) is launching a number of new training programmes and expanding some of its more popular existing programmes. This is a move to help Forms Three and Five school-leavers improve their job skills and employment prospects. A new two-year full-time 'Hospitality Industry Foundation Certificate Course' is being offered by the VTC's Hospitality Industry Training and Development Centre. It will help meet the increasing demand in the hospitality industry for well-trained young people. The free programme covers knowledge of the food and beverage industry, preparation of Western and Chinese snacks, drinks and desserts, front office organisation and operations as well as computer skills and vocational English and Putonghua. A total of 300 places will be offered. Those with Form Three education and aged 16 or above are eligible to apply. Other courses on offer will be in the areas of building services, textiles and digital media such as technician foundation courses in vehicle servicing, air-conditioning and refrigeration, electrical engineering, lift engineering and textiles (quality assurance and merchandising) for Form Five students. Basic craft course in digital print media publishing techniques is a course for Form Three students. All are one-year full-time courses. There are 20 other one-year full-time technician foundation courses and basic craft courses offered by the VTC's training centres in the fields of cars, electronics, electrical, jewellery, plastics, printing, gas and welding industries. They are also offered free. Meanwhile, in view of the popularity of its unique programme of certificate of vocational studies, the VTC's Hong Kong Institute of Vocational Education will increase its intake by 500 to 1,220 in 2000-01. The services stream of the Certificate in Vocational Studies, together with Craft Certificate in Basic Clock and Watch Studies and Craft Certificate in Basic Optics, are still inviting applications. Those with Form Three are eligible to apply. Covering subjects such as business studies and practice, commercial software applications and service culture, the Certificate in Vocational Studies (Services) aims to provide students with both practical training and a general education so as to improve their chances of being employed and help them develop a better grounding for further education. Those who have completed Form Four are eligible for the other two courses, Certificate in Word Processing and Office Practice, and Vocational Certificate in Hairdressing. The deadline for application for the courses is August 14. The Vocational Training Council offers a full range of specialist training for more than 120,000 every year through its IVEs, 20 training centres and apprenticeship and other training schemes.