The Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has been visiting two companies in County Durham where almost 300 jobs have been created or safeguarded with money from the Regional Growth Fund.
He met young apprentices at CAV Aerospace in Consett and launched a Liberal Democrat campaign to create a million new jobs nationwide.
Mr Clegg said he wanted to see the number of companies offering apprenticeships doubling to 200,000.
More top news
Stephen Unwin and William McFall were handed whole life sentences for the brutal murder of 28-year-old Quyen Ngoc Nguyen last August.
The eastbound carriageway is currently closed and will be reduced to one lane in the coming days following a coach crash this morning.
Three horses have died in separate incidents at Hexham racecourse. The British Horseracing Authority has said it is investigating.