A teenager’s career has taken off after being taken on as an apprentice at North Tyneside Council.
Vanessa Phillips is the first young person to be directly employed by the council as an apprentice and will work in the office of Mayor Norma Redfearn.
After leaving Marden High School, the 17-year-old studied aviation at Newcastle College before applying for the apprenticeship with the authority.
Vanessa, from Whitley Bay, said: “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 and Vanessa will be employed by the authority, given time off to attend college and gain business administration qualifications.
Mrs Redfearn said: “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.”
She added: “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.”