Hundreds of new positions are being created by telecommunications giant BT.
Around 145 new apprenticeships and graduate jobs are being created as part of UK-wide recruitment in roles from engineering to cyber crime.
The new recruits will work in North Tyneside, Newcastle, South Shields, Sunderland, Middlesbrough and Darlington in customer service, HR, project management and engineering.
BT is one of the first UK companies to use virtual reality technology as a way of recruiting as it looks at innovative techniques in how it attracts the best graduates.
The assessment process will include candidates being asked to complete a series of virtual reality Crystal Maze style tasks, assessing them on analytical skills, how they handle change, and drive.
Gavin Patterson, chief executive of BT, said: “We’re proud to be leading the industry by investing in training a huge number of people in the digital skills that the UK economy so vitally needs.
“BT has a rich history of innovation, and it’s an incredibly exciting time to be joining the company as we look towards growing our cyber-security business, developing 5G technologies and enhanced TV content.
“Our apprenticeship and graduate scheme will equip people with the skills and on-the-job training they will need to succeed in the future.
“I’m looking forward to welcoming all our new recruits into the business.”
Simon Yellowley, chairman of BT’s regional board in the north east, said: “This recruitment is more great news for our region. It underlines the leading role that BT plays in communities across the north east and is a tribute to the quality of our local staff.
“They play a vital role in providing essential products and services for the households and businesses of the north east, as well as, of course, being part of these local communities themselves.
“As one of the region’s leading employers and investors, BT is committed to providing high quality jobs and careers, and this latest recruitment will help ensure we deliver the best possible services for the people of the north east.”