THE figures look impressive and each one represents a young person for which the campaign has made a life-changing difference.

For Emma Pollock, who is working towards a business administration qualification during her apprenticeship with Darlington Borough Council’s economic development unit, the campaign has helped her get onto the first rung of the career ladder.

The 19-year-old had completed A-Levels in graphics, media production and travel and tourism, but decided against going to university, instead wanting to get straight into work.

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Faced with difficult employment conditions and high youth unemployment, she found out about the Foundation for Jobs campaign online and applied for an apprenticeship.

“I didn’t want to go down the university route – it wasn’t for me. I wanted to go out to work and start earning my own money and being independent," she said.

“I love it. It was a really good move for me. I love the fact you get the experience of being in the office for four days a week, and get time to train at the same time.

“It is a fantastic experience and I think it’s helped me to mature as well. I feel more grown up being in a job rather than still being in education. It is putting me in a better position to get a job. Foundation for Jobs has been brilliant.”