Monday, March 1, 1999 Published at 08:53 GMT
Welsh schools try to entice ex-pats
Drive to encourage people to return to mid Wales
Schools in Wales are getting in touch with former pupils now scattered around the world - to invite them to come home.
Nearly 1,000 people as far afield as Japan and Australia will be sent questionnaires from schools taking part in the project.
The Llwybro Routes project, run by the Welsh Development Agency, was begun in June last year, tracking down people who have left the region during the last 30 years and asking them why.
The aim of phase two, just starting, is to discover ways of attracting them back or at least of preventing the present generation being educated in mid Wales from following them.
Local companies are also being contacted and asked what skills and people they need for the future, which could lead to people who have already left rural Wales being attracted back to jobs in the area.
A summer roadshow will select 16 and 17-year-olds who are prepared to be tracked through higher education and jobs.
The Managing Director of the development agency's Mid Wales Division, Sian Lloyd Jones, said: "There is great potential for young people from mid Wales to return to set up businesses, take up employment, invest and contribute to their home communities.
"The Llwybro Routes initiative will, and is already, helping various agencies find out ways of retaining one of the region's most important assets - its young people."