A new government scheme taking place in selected areas around England aims to help young people with careers advice and make the most of their options.
Backed by £1 million of government investment, the trials will each follow one of three models to determine how to ensure teenagers have the best possible access to education or training.
Speaking on a visit to Manchester Creative and Media Academy for Girls, situated in one of the pilot regions, education minister Iain Wright said it is harder than ever for school leavers to walk into a job.
"The current economic climate means that the job market is more competitive than ever," he noted.
Mr Wright explained that recent research had demonstrated a link between staying in education post-16 and success later in life.
The government has also announced a new accreditation system for academy sponsors, aiming to mark out successful organisations to set up chains of schools.
Written by Theo Foulds