Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Campaign Smashes Record Total Again; Apprenticeship Drives Creates Work for 2,500

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Campaign Smashes Record Total Again; Apprenticeship Drives Creates Work for 2,500

Article excerpt

Byline: Iain Laing

THE Journal's drive for North East companies to offer as many new apprenticeships as possible within 100 days has ended triumphantly with a total of more than 2,500 places created.

Over 1,000 businesses across the region backed 100 Days: The Apprenticeship Challenge bid to boost skills and create jobs by taking on apprentices.

And today we are celebrating after working with employers to create 2,526 apprenticeships, which is thought to be the biggest total of any region running the campaign in the UK.

Last year, a similar campaign in the North East created 1,355 apprenticeships - again a national record - smashing the original target of creating 100 new apprenticeships in 100 days.

The Apprenticeship Challenge is organised by the National Apprenticeship Service in association with the North East Chamber of Commerce, and championed by The Journal and its Teesside sister newspaper the Evening Gazette.

Alan Wallace, NAS head of employer accounts, said the campaign had "exceeded all expectations".

"When we launched our 100 Day Apprenticeship Challenge back in March, our aim was to create a campaign which would make a positive difference and offer real tangible benefits to the region's employers, young people and to the local economy," he said.

"2,526 Apprenticeships later and there is no doubt we have achieved all this and more and can be confident the campaign will leave a lasting legacy.

"Over 1,000 employers have taken on an apprentice as part of the Challenge and I would like to sincerely thank each and every one of them, as well as all the campaign sponsors, particularly the North East Chamber of Commerce who was our platinum sponsor, and The Journal and Evening Gazette newspapers for their overwhelming support.

"By working in collaboration we have achieved something very special, which we can all be proud of."

Journal Editor Brian Aitken said: "The response we have had to this campaign has been absolutely phenomenal, with the grand total far surpassing that of similar campaigns held across the country. "Those employers and training providers that have helped us to get to 2,526 apprentices over the last three months should give themselves a well deserved pat on the back for doing their bit to support the region's economy and create jobs during a time when they are needed most. …

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