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Southern Water trains "leakbusters"

Main chance: Southern Water is training nine long-term unemployed people to join its team of "leakbusters", as part of the Government's welfare to work programme. The trainees, who can become fully qualified leak detection engineers, are seen (left) learning how to use listening sticks to pinpoint water seeping from underground mains.

Southern Water, owned by ScottishPower, said the training would last for six months, with those taking part working in Kent, Sussex and Hampshire. The welfare to work programme gives employers incentive payments, funded by the windfall utility tax, to encourage companies to create training and jobs for the long-term unemployed.

Photograph: Eye Catchers Press