THE Journal and Evening Gazette’s campaign to create as many apprenticeship places as possible over 100 days is being hailed as a huge success after surpassing its target of 100 apprentices with a phenomenal 1,355.
The 100 in 100 campaign, launched in January in association with the National Apprenticeship Service and supported by the North East Chamber of Commerce, was so successful in its first weeks that it was renamed the 500 in 100 campaign.
That revised figure was passed with five weeks to go.
Since then the campaign has quietly targeted 1,000 apprentices, with the final total far surpassing similar campaigns held up and down the country.
The campaign’s launch on January 20 was quickly followed by Apprenticeship Week in February, as well as the Government’s announcement in the Budget of a £180m package to fund an extra 40,000 young apprentices and 10,000 advanced level and higher apprentices.
With growing fears over levels of youth unemployment in the region, it is hoped that many of the new apprenticeship places will turn into full time jobs.
John Wayman, regional director of the National Apprenticeship Service, said: “Achieving 1,355 Apprenticeships in 100 days is an absolutely astounding achievement and I am totally overwhelmed but extremely delighted.
“We never doubted the campaign would be successful, but it has continually surpassed all our aspirations.
“We are delighted to have played a part in helping to launch the careers of hundreds of young people in the North East, and supplying local businesses with first class committed employees who can contribute to their organisation’s future growth and success.”
This huge achievement has also been recognised on a national level, with Skills Minister John Hayes hopeful of the far reaching implications for the North East.