The region's only FTSE 100 company has joined a growing number of firms that are offering apprenticeships to young people.
The software giant Sage has taken on eleven apprentices, in a climate where young people are increasingly choosing either to apply directly for an apprenticeship rather than a university degree - or in some cases are turning down a place at university to sign up for apprenticeships.
The number of people choosing so-called 'white collar' apprenticeships has more than tripled in the last four years, at a time when rising tuition fees are deterring many young people from continuing in higher education.
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A businessman who ran three international export companies from his County Durham home has been jailed after an investigation by HMRC
A "vicious and scheming" killer murdered her boyfriend then tried to recruit a local butcher to help her dispose of his body has been jailed