The 100 in 100 campaign, supported by The News, was set up by Shaping Portsmouth in partnership with the Portsmouth education and business community to give young people a much-needed boost in the wake of shocking figures showing youth employment was at its lowest for five years.
The figures also showed that young people had been adversely affected by the pandemic, with a disproportionate amount out of work.
The campaign initially aimed to create a total of 100 roles in 100 days – however it surpassed its target and expectations, securing an incredible 265 places.
Roles for young people aged 18-24 include apprenticeships, traineeships and Kickstart placements, a government -funded initiative that started this year.
Stef Nienaltowski, chief executive officer of Shaping Portsmouth, said: ‘When we came up with the idea for this project back in March we couldn’t have dreamt of the kind of response we have received.
‘We were wowed when the project met its target halfway through, we’re humbled now that it’s smashed through the second target we set.
‘Thank you to everyone that has worked so tirelessly to give our young people the future they deserve. Thanks to the young people for showing up and impressing us every day with their enthusiasm and potential.’
The campaign was backed by backed by the Solent Apprenticeship Hub, Portsmouth City Council, the University of Portsmouth and the area’s four colleges – Highbury College, Portsmouth College, Fareham College and HSDC.
Scores of businesses signed up to create opportunities with more still flooding in - including The News, which is looking to take on two apprentices and its first Kickstart placement.
Right at Home in Portchester took on its first apprentice through HSDC and manager Madeline Morgan said they were impressed.
She said: ‘By hiring an apprentice, we can help combat unemployment in young people and help to build a future workforce, which is fantastic.’
Another business already seeing the benefits is the Digital Bucket Company, which took on Fareham College student Jessica Ashrafian, 21, for a traineeship in digital skills for business.
Jessica said: ‘It has greatly improved my confidence, knowledge and skills.’
At the University of Portsmouth, 18 police officers begin their apprenticeships during the campaign and at Portsmouth College, many different subjects were covered, including teaching.
Simon Barrable, principal at Portsmouth College, said: ‘The 100 in 100 campaign has helped shine a light on new employment and career opportunities.’
To read an e-mag version of a special 8-page 100 in 100 supplement that appeared in The News, click here