Support our Apprenticeships campaign

Are you Proud To Back Apprenticeships? This month, The Journal launched a campaign to keep the North East working


Proud To Back Apprenticeships is being run in partnership with our colleagues on the Evening Gazette in Teesside. We want to see more companies investing in training for the future.

And we are aiming to address the very real and growing skills gap which threatens the North’s proud history as a centre for manufacting and innovation.

Some 8,500 skilled workers – 4,000 of them highly-skilled – in this region are due to retire in the next five years, with too few people on the employment conveyor belt to replace them.

Already companies are having to turn away business because they don’t have enough skilled personnel to cope with more work.

With unemployment levels so high, that is a ridiculous situation that needs addressing urgently.

It is estimated that 27% of the 2,150 mainstream engineering companies in the region employ apprentices.

If the North East is to remain a world-class region for manufacturing we need to see at least half of all companies in the sector recruiting new talent.

The principle aim of Proud To Back Apprenticeships is to achieve that 50% figure in the manufacturing sector.

All companies, no matter what sector they are in, need to understand that they risk losing out to competitors if they don’t invest in apprenticeships, as well as up-skilling and re-skilling their workforce.

A survey for the National Apprenticeship Service found that 92% of companies said that an apprenticeship programme provided them with a better motivated staff and increased job satisfaction.

Now you can show your support for the campaign with just a few clicks.

Add your company’s backing to our calls by logging on to and filling in the simple form on the bottom of the page.


David Whetstone
Culture Editor
Graeme Whitfield
Business Editor
Mark Douglas
Newcastle United Editor
Stuart Rayner
Sports Writer