THE Journal's bid to urge companies to create as many apprenticeships as possible in 100 days is seeing more signed up in its final week.
The 100 Days: The Apprenticeship Challenge has seen businesses in the region recruit around 1,850 apprentices, including more than 400 in the last week.
Organisers are now hoping to see a total of more than 2,000 apprenticeships by the time the campaign closes next Wednesday, 500 more than in the whole of last year’s very successful campaign. The scheme originally aimed to sign up 100 apprentices 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, head of employer accounts for the NAS, said: “When we launched our 100 Day Apprenticeship Challenge back in March in partnership with many of the region’s colleges and training providers, our aim was to create a campaign which would make a positive difference and offer real benefits to the region’s employers, young people and the local economy.
“More than 1,850 apprenticeships later, there is no doubt we have achieved all this and more, and we can be confident the campaign will leave a lasting legacy.
“We have been genuinely overwhelmed by the positive response from the region’s employers.
“Other, similar campaigns have run in other parts of the country, but North East employers are leading the way and I would like to sincerely thank every business and organisation that has pledged apprenticeship opportunities.”
James Ramsbotham, chief executive of the North East Chamber of Commerce, said: “I would be surprised if any other region in the country has shown the level of support to apprenticeships as we have in the North East.
“I would therefore encourage all businesses to take inspiration from the level of support we have witnessed with this campaign and give their support to the next generation of our business community.”
To find out more about the 100 Days: The Apprenticeship Challenge, call 0800 015 0600, or visit the website www.apprenticeships.org.uk
You can also find out more about our apprenticeship campaign at www.nebusiness.co.uk/apprenticeships