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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A look ahead at the weekend weather for the Tyne Tees region.
Exmoor ponies have proved to be such a success for the habitat at a South Tyneside nature reserve that they've been brought back.
A replacement bridge on one of Stockton Borough's busiest roads has opened well ahead of schedule.