North East software giant takes on apprentices

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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'White collar' apprenticeships up

There has been a rise in the number of young people taking up 'white collar apprenticeships' in management and accountancy, raising the question of whether a university degree could now become redundant.