This empirical paper investigates skill formation in the youth labour market. Using event-history data collected from the administrative records of Lancashire Careers Service, we model 'training preferences' formed at school by young people and 'training destinations', ie the occupation of the first job/training scheme. We also model the duration of the individual's first unemployment spell. Competing risks models with flexible piece-wise linear baseline hazards and unobserved heterogeneity are estimated. There is evidence of occupational segregation by gender and an excess demand for general training. Outcomes are mainly determined by examination performance, ethnicity and whether disadvantaged.