We compare wages between school leavers who participate in government-funded youth training and those who do not. Using a subset of all school leavers in Lancashire between 1988 and 1991, we find that wage differentials are large and negative for all types of participant when training. Once training finishes, differentials are small but still negative. There is no evidence that participants have steeper wage profiles. A ranking of lifetime wages suggests that the occupations chosen by participants may offer positive returns compared to occupations with no training. The largest impact comes at the firm level: training providers pay lower wages to both ex-participants and non-participants.