More than 75 young people have been helped into work just four months after the launch of an apprenticeship project.
The Durham County Council project started in November with a target of getting 150 people into work and training opportunities.
The scheme has already reached more than half of its target and is being hailed a huge success by the council.
The project works by funding two-year work based traineeships in small and medium sized companies. This helps the companies to expand their workforce and gives young people a position with a wage and work experience, with a possibility of gaining more qualifications.
The scheme, which is aimed at 16-24-year-olds, is being funded by the county council and the Coalfields Regeneration Trust and supported by the National Apprenticeship Service.
One of the latest recruits to the scheme is Matthew Vale, 18, from Templetown in Consett. He is joining Microbac Ltd in Consett as a computer-aided design engineer and will also get the chance to take additional qualifications at Derwentside College.
Councillor Neil Foster, cabinet member for regeneration and economic development at the county council, said: “Young people like Matthew need and deserve a helping hand and I am really pleased to see our apprenticeship programme’s success.
“So far more than 75 young men and women in County Durham have a new and exciting career to look forward to and the scheme has attracted interest from hundreds of companies. I am sure it won’t be long until we reach our goal of creating 150 apprenticeships.”