David Milstead turned down a place at university to join the software giant Sage, which has become the latest big firm in the North East to hire apprentices.
The number of people choosing apprenticeships in business and administration has increased in the last four years, at a time when university tuition fees are rising.
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Sunny spells and scattered showers for Sunday, but feeling cool in gusty west winds behind overnight rain
Newcastle United has praised the "strength and dignity" of its soon-to-depart players Jonas Gutierrez and Ryan Taylor.
Jonas Gutierrez is set to leave Newcastle but he has also fired a parting shot at the club's owner Mike Ashley.