A CAMPAIGN to raise awareness of how apprenticeships can make a difference in the county has been so successful, it is going to double its target.
The Gloucestershire Apprenticeship Challenge was launched in December asking 500 young people to sign up to be recruited as an apprentice.
But by the end of January, 761 had already put pen to paper to become an apprentice, prompting the new target of 1,000.
The Citizen, Gloucestershire Echo and Stroud Life-backed Gloucestershire Apprenticeship Challenge campaign is run by GFirst, which drives Gloucestershire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), in association with Gloucestershire College, South Gloucestershire and Stroud College, EDF Energy, Delphi and Gloucestershire Engineering Training Group.
Sarah Danson, development manager at GFirst, said: "We have been overwhelmed with the support for this campaign and can't believe that in two months we have exceeded our target by more than 250 people.
"Because it has been such a success, we have decided to raise the stakes and we are now asking 1,000 young people to have signed up by the end of the campaign in March.
"We have the Gloucestershire Skillsfest 2013 coming up next month where there will be dozens of live vacancies on offer for people to sign-up for."
Based at Gloucester Rugby Club on Tuesday, March 5, the Gloucestershire Skillsfest 2013 will bring together businesses, schools, young people, parents and training providers to find out about apprenticeships and career opportunities.
A number of employers and training providers will be advertising vacancies, at the event, while apprentices will be on hand to offer an insight into what it is really like to undertake an apprenticeship programme.
There will also be a range of advice and guidance workshops for schools, a chance to meet the apprentice and Q & A session for parents and carers.
There will also be a chance for visitors to try "have a go" activities which will give them hands-on experience of new skills.
David Owen, chief executive of GFirst, said: "Gloucestershire LEP brings together businesses to make the county successful and create jobs.
"And the Gloucestershire Apprenticeship Challenge campaign and Skillsfest are ways that the LEP is putting these plans into action, very successfully.
"I am delighted that the campaign has already beaten its target and I am sure that the 1,000 mark will be met by the end of next month.
"Apprenticeships are vital for this county's economic growth and I hope businesses and individuals will support this to help the campaign reach 1,000 young people."
To sign up or to find out more about apprenticeships, visit www.apprenticeships.org.uk.
The Gloucestershire Skillsfest on Tuesday, March 5, will offer young people hands-on, inspirational and informative careers and training advice all under one roof.
Visit www.glosskillsfest.co.uk for more information.