IT is with great joy, and not a little relief, that we announce today that our 100 in 100 campaign has achieved its goal.

Why relief? Did we ever doubt we’d get there? Well, truthfully, yes we did.

After all, when we teamed up with the Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire Chamber of Commerce to launch the campaign could we have picked a worse time with the economy the way it is? Probably not.

And yet we needn’t have worried.

We are passionate supporters of apprentices and apprenticeships.

And, it turns out, so are you, our readers and advertisers.

Your support for the campaign has been widespread and it has been humbling to see companies, large and small, coming forward, one after the other, to pledge their support and commitment to the campaign.

These businesses have recognised the benefits of investing in on-the-job training and will no doubt reap the rewards as a result.

This was no gimmick, these are real apprenticeships for real people and we look forward to sharing with you their future progress.

We’ve said previously in this column that in the closing decades of the 20th century the word ‘apprentice’ all but became a dirty word.

Not any more.