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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Sir Michael Wilshaw has said there was "very bad homophobic bullying" at free schools in Durham and Sunderland and parents deserve better.
Winter is back with weather warnings in place across the region. Ross has the details:
Ten people, six from Gateshead have been charged after drugs, believed to be destined for North East communities, were secured by officers.