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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Roger Burrell from Chester-le-Street broke the European record in the 84-89 years category in the 100m in May.
GSK said the cash boost would help build a new sterile facility at Barnard Castle and will create jobs
Some of the UK’s most iconic venues - including the Gateshead International Stadium - have signed up to be part of ITV’s I Am Team GB day.