A project, funded by Europe, is aiming to keep young people in Birmingham and Solihull motivated at school through practical work experience.
The scheme, 4Real-Life, run by Birmingham and Solihull Education Business Links, has been given £569,000 through the European Social Fund to provide extended work experience and employability programmes to the local community.
The European money funds a dedicated 4Real-Life team of seven, including a personal adviser for participants.
The project started in April and has already helped nearly 900 young people from 50 schools and community organisations make a smooth transition from school into work, training or further education.
It is on target to help at least another 900 young people before the project finishes in December 2007.
4Real-Life co-ordinator Lorraine Pearce said: "This project is re-engaging young people in education by giving them a better understanding about the opportunities available to them in the future.
"As a result, many have secured part-time jobs, and they will also have the opportunity to gain formal accreditation at the end of their placements."
Phil Howard, of the Government Office for the West Midlands said: "The 4Real-Life project is an excellent example of how the European Social Fund is providing crucial support through training, work experience and lifelong learning to a wide variety of individuals and groups living in the West Midlands."
Anthony Jeyes, aged 15, from Arden School, Knowle, is on an ongoing placement at Plume Tyres in Knowle, which his supervisor believes is improving his schoolwork.
4Real- Life placement supervisor Mark Houghton said: "For many young people like him, practical work experience and insight into the 'real world' is really what helps them grow and broaden their horizons."