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Newspapers break their own record with jobs campaign

A campaign by two regional dailies to create apprenticeships for unemployed people has seen last year’s success almost doubled – with more than 2,500 positions set up.

The Journal and sister paper the Teesside Evening Gazette launched 100 Days: The Apprenticeship Challenge again this year after a record 1,355 apprenticeships were created with last year’s campaign.

Journal editor Brian Aitken has hailed the response to the papers’ campaigns as “phenomenal”, after 2,526 apprenticeships were started – thought to be the biggest such campaign in the UK.

The scheme, originally aimed at creating 100 apprenticeships, was organised by National Apprenticeship Service in association with the North East Chamber of Commerce to help unemployed people into work.

Said Brian: “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.”

Skills Minister John Hayes has congratulated The Journal for leading the campaign.

He said: “Apprenticeships are at the heart of the Government’s drive to equip people with the skills employers need to compete. This newspaper clearly recognises just how fundamental they are this country’s long-term economic prosperity.”

  • The Rossendale Free Press which launched a similar campaign earlier this year, hit its target of getting 100 young people into apprenticeships in 100 days – with 25 days to go.

The title urged businesses to take on new staff to boost the local economy and provide opportunities for youngsters looking for work.

Since its launch in February, 103 people have started work with a range of firms, from butchers to bus operators and from care homes to caterers.

Editor Gareth Tidman said the campaign had been a great example of what can be achieved in difficult economic times.