Push to double number of apprentices

Engineering apprentice
Apprentice at Clifton Engineering Photo: ITV News

Engineering companies in the North East are being encouraged to take on more apprentices.

There are currently 6,100 employed in the region but there are hopes to double that by 2016. 27% of North East manufacturing firms take on apprentices at the moment. There's a push to increase that to 50% in the next three years.

8,500 skilled workers are due to retire by 2016 and there will be a skills shortage unless more youngsters can be taken on and trained.