The Prince's Trust has launched a new course to help improve the employment prospects of the thousands of youngsters who leave school each year without a qualification.
The Prince's Trust claims that its new certificate in personal, teamwork and community skills will "significantly increase" the employability of those who leave school without any basic qualifications.
Some 30,000 people currently leave full-time education each year without obtaining any GCSEs.
The lack of skills shown by many school leavers has been criticised by British businesses, who claim that those entering the employment market do not have the attributes that they require in the workplace.
The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) warned yesterday that one-third of businesses in the UK were paying to provide literacy and numeracy training sessions for their workers due to basic gaps in English and maths skills demonstrated by many employees.
The charity, which was founded by the Prince of Wales, will award the City and Guilds certificate to 16 to 25-year-olds who complete a 12-week personal development programme.
"This will help thousands of young people avoid a lifetime of struggling to find work," explained Prince's Trust commercial director Carol Homden.
It is expected that about 8,000 people will gain the new qualification during its first year of operation.
Welcoming the new course, City and Guilds consulting director Jennifer Bernard said the initiative would help those who struggled at school but who were able to perform well in the workplace.
"This will give them a chance to succeed by demonstrating their vocational skills and improving their employment prospects," she said.