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FIVE young people who signed up to take part in a new hospitality traineeship programme in Portsmouth have taken their first steps towards employment in the city.

The trainees, aged between 16 and 22, were some of the first people in the country to sign up to the Hospitality Industry Training (HIT) scheme.

All five were previously unemployed but are now gaining work experience with a variety of local employers.

The scheme includes classroom-based training in English and maths.

They completed placements at three businesses in the city.

Adam Tolmie, traineeships co-ordinator for HIT Hampshire and Sussex, said: ‘Traineeships are part of the same family as apprenticeships but they are aimed at those young people who are having difficulty getting into work because they don’t have sufficient qualifications or any work experience.’

If you are an employer who would like to discuss how you could provide work experience through the scheme, contact Adam Tolmie on 07415 220417, or visit hittraining.co.uk.