Apprentices push in the North East

Engineering and manufacturing firms are being encouraged to take on more apprentices to maintain the North East's world class standard.

Semta (Skills Council for Science, Engineering and Manufacturing Technologies) says 8,500 skilled workers are due to retire by 2016 and a further 15,000 current employees need to improve their skills to ensure the region continues to perform at the top level.

27% of engineering and manufacturing firms in the region currently take on apprentices. The aim's to reach 50% by 2016.