North Tyneside Council has taken on its first directly employed apprentice.
Vanessa Phillips, 17, will be working in the office of elected mayor, Norma Redfearn.
After leaving Marden High School, Vanessa had considered a career in flying and studied aviation at Newcastle College before applying for the apprenticeship with the authority.
She said: “I still can’t believe that I’ve been chosen out of all the people that applied.
“Although I’d initially thought about joining an airline company, I’m much better suited to working in business.
“Working in the elected mayor’s office will give me valuable experience and is a great opportunity to get my career off the ground.”
The apprenticeship will run for 18 months, with Vanessa being given time off to attend college and gain business administration qualifications.
She will also be able to apply for posts in other areas of the council.
The directly employed apprenticeship project is being led by the elected mayor and may be rolled out into other departments.
Cllr Redfearn said: “Despite the harsh economic climate and the financial restrictions we’re all facing, I would like the council and all local employers to support the aspirations of our young people and provide valued training and skills that will help them get a start in life.
“These days, apprenticeships are more important than ever to young people because high tuition fees are making many of them think very differently about spending three or four years at university and then having to find work.
“During my time on the council I’ve met so many young people and I’m always astounded by their incredible talents, enthusiasm and skills. They want to work, and just like Vanessa, they deserve a chance.
“I’d like employers and businesses of all sizes to consider taking on an apprentice, or apprentices, and in doing so give the young people of North Tyneside a helping hand and the opportunity to shine.”