It is hoped the New Year will bring new hope for young people looking for jobs in an area that has had record levels of youth unemployment.
Some of Teesside's leading companies are joining forces to offer additional career opportunities. They hope it will help maintain their world-class reputation in the chemical and process industries. Sarah Kelly reports.
Nick Clegg has announced that the Government will spend £4.5 million to help young people in the North East find work. The money is part of a £50 million national fund.
It will pay for employment advisers and peer mentors, at the discretion of local authorities in the region.
The Deputy Prime Minister said: "Helping young people succeed is crucial to our economic recovery.”
Manchester United striker Robin van Persie has given his support to a charity which uses football to tackle youth unemployment in Newcastle.
The Netherlands international is an ambassador for Street League, which has just launched its new website.
*He said: *
"There are almost one million young people out of work in the UK. Street League are amazing because they use the power of football to get the most disadvantaged into work, education and training."
Street League targets the hardest to reach groups in some of the most disadvantaged areas of the UK and 76% of graduates from the charity's academy get a job or move into training.
It works out of five cities: London, Manchester, Newcastle, Glasgow and Edinburgh.
Chief executive Matt Stevenson-Dodd said:
"Research has shown that a young adult out of work for a substantial period of time is more likely to be unemployed and welfare-dependent later in life.
"They will also become increasingly susceptible to poor health and mental stress, and more likely to become involved in anti-social behaviour.
"At Street League we are very proud of our track record. For every four young people who graduate from our academy programme, two get jobs and one moves into training. Now we are appealing to more people to get involved and support Street League's crucial work."
Young people are invited to an event aimed at boosting their employability prospects.
Businesses from across the North East will join youth projects at the networking event on 13 March to explore opportunities for working together to make a difference to young people.
The event is part of the national United Futures campaign, which aims to increase business engagement with the out-of-school youth sector across England.
It is led by charities Business In The Community, National Children's Bureau and UK Youth.
The North East has the highest regional Neet (not in education, employment or training) rate in England, which stood at 9% of 16 to 18 year-olds in the region during the last quarter of 2012.
The event will be held between 8.30am and10.30am at Starbucks in the Metro Centre, Gateshead.
– Beth Cummins, youth consultant
"For me one of the main reasons for youth sector and businesses to get involved together is employability.
"Young people are hardest hit by unemployment particularly in the North East and so it's important to inspire that entrepreneurial drive and confidence within them."