A campaign backed by The Argus to encourage companies to take on young apprentices has smashed its target. Last week The Argus and City College Brighton and Hove teamed up to create more apprenticeship opportunities in Brighton and Hove.

The aim of the 25 in 5 campaign was to encourage at least 25 employers to make a commitment to take on a young worker during the five days of Apprenticeship Week.

During the week City College held a number of events to persuade firms to get involved. Yesterday it was announced that a total of 32 companies had agreed to take part – beating the campaign target by seven. Participating firms include digital media company Alphawave, carpentry firm Creative Lofts and The Chiilli Pickle restaurant.

The employers will be invited to a celebratory lunch at American Express Community Stadium’s East Central Brasserie which will be featured in The Argus.

Brandon Harris, a director of Active Beauty, which is are offering a business administration apprenticeship, said: “We’re a new company and have been very successful to the extent that we need more staff to deal with the workload so we’re very keen to have a talented apprentice onboard.

“The 25 in 5 campaign was a great way of getting the word out to the local business community and we’re pleased to have been part of making this recruitment drive a success.”

William Stapleton, a director of W Stapleton Electrical Limited, said: “This campaign was an excellent idea because there are employers who might have been holding back from taking on an apprentice – but when they see in The Argus how well it’s worked for other businesses, it makes them more inclined to go for it.”

Michael Beard, the editor of The Argus, said: “I’m delighted that not only have we reached our target but we have far exceeded it.

“Joining forces with City College has helped us to give the hope of employment to a significant number of young people.”

Donna Keenan, the director of City College’s business skills department in Pelham Street, said: “I’m consistently hearing from the employers that apprenticeships are delivering a significant return on their investment.

“Apprenticeships reduce skills shortages, minimise staff turnover and increase productivity so the business case is clearly very persuasive.”

Accreditation firm Kallikids took on Ryan Thomas, 23, as an apprentice this year. Zoe Craven, a marketing executive at the firm, said: “It’s been great seeing employers respond to the 25 in 5 campaign.

“For our company, Ryan has been an excellent addition to the team and it’s been fantastic to benefit from his fresh perspective and new ideas.”