More than 1,000 new apprenticeships and training opportunities have been created in the North East in a little over 10 weeks.
The North East Chamber of Commerce and partners the National Apprenticeship Service launched the 100 Days Apprenticeship Challenge to highlight the importance of apprentices in the modern workplace and encourage more firms to consider recruitment.
So far, 634 employers have signed up to the Challenge, creating 808 new roles within businesses and supporting 221 existing staff members in new training opportunities.
NECC head of training operations, Andrew Robson, said: "It is fantastic to see so many businesses taking up the apprenticeship challenge once again. Each year, we wonder if our firms will have the same appetite for apprenticeships as the one before and each year that appetite grows stronger.
"Companies have been quick to realise the potential of apprenticeships and the opportunity to mould keen young learners into roles within their businesses. Likewise with the introduction of university fees more and more young people are seeing apprenticeships as the ideal way to take that first step on to the career ladder.
"Three weeks remain in the 100 Days Apprenticeship Challenge. While it would be fantastic to break last year's record, it is just as exciting to see the quality of apprenticeship being offered and the enthusiasm that exists for the roles."
Last year at week 10, the figure stood at 1,242 so there is still work to do to better that, this year more opportunities for 16-24 year olds have been created so far.
For more information visit www.necc.co.uk/100days