Mayor of London in new jobs and skills drive

14 March 2012

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, today announced a vital funding boost of £6m to help small and medium sized companies in the capital offer apprenticeships to young people in search of work.

With new unemployment figures out today, the Mayor revealed that small and medium sized businesses will be entitled to apply for a £1,500 incentive payment if they employ an apprentice aged 16 to 24 as part of a new Government initiative managed by the National Apprenticeship Service (NAS).The new grant, known as AGE 16 to 24, means that a further 4,000 new apprenticeship opportunities could be created in London, which is a significant boost towards the Mayor’s target to create 100,000 apprenticeships by the end of this year.

The Mayor also unveiled details of a new initiative he is backing as part of his Team London programme, which will bring together staff from eight leading UK and international firms to run a wide range of careers workshops, seminars and training sessions for thousands of young Londoners aged between 14 and 19.The ‘Skills for Success’ scheme will see eight top companies – Team London's lead corporate partner Bloomberg LP, BT, P&G, KPMG, Citi, IBM, Addison Lee and Barclays - bringing new and existing employability schemes under the Team London banner as part of a concerted city-wide effort to better prepare young Londoners for the world of work.

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: “In an ever competitive jobs market it is essential that young people are given the skills they need to prepare for and succeed in the world of work. Apprenticeships and job training schemes are fantastic ways for employers to tap into the pool of talent we have in London, while giving young people vital experience of what employers are looking for. I urge smaller firms to check out the new incentive payments that are available for apprenticeships and strongly encourage big companies to join Team London so we can roll out the Skills for Success initiative right across this city.”

Tim Campbell, the Mayor's Ambassador for Training and Enterprise, said: "Small and medium sized companies are going to be at the heart of the country's growth and are essential partners in the apprenticeship drive. This commitment to provide an incentive payment to eligible companies reinforces how important a partner they are and just how committed we are to getting companies of all sizes to benefit from having an apprentice."

Vic Grimes, Director of the National Apprenticeship Service for London and the South East, said: "The new AGE 16 to 24 Grant is part of a number of new measures the government has recently announced to make it easier for employers to take on apprentices. We will be working closely with the GLA and other partners such as the London Chambers of Commerce & Industry and the Federation of Small Businesses to ensure that as many businesses as possible in the capital are able to benefit and take on their first apprentice this year.”

Colin Stanbridge, Chief Executive of the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said: “It is welcome news that funding to create another 4,000 apprenticeships in London has been secured. We recently launched a campaign to create 100 apprenticeships in 100 days in a bid to raise awareness amongst SMEs about the benefits of taking on an apprentice. This announcement demonstrates the support both the Mayor and the government are giving to initiatives such as ours that encourages firms to invest in their workforce.”

The Mayor, who last month revealed that 54,470 apprenticeships have been created in the capital since July 2010, also revealed today that he has beaten his target to create 3,000 apprenticeships throughout the Greater London Authority (GLA) and its supply chain in the past three years.A total of 3,062 apprenticeship places have been delivered throughout the GLA family, which includes Transport for London, Metropolitan Police and the London Fire Brigade.

Notes to editors:
- For further information on apprenticeship schemes visit: www.london.gov.uk/apprenticeships or www.apprenticeships.gov.uk
- The scale of the GLA group’s £8 billion procurement programme creates a significant number of job and training opportunities and the GLA proactively engages the businesses that deliver our major projects in the apprenticeship and employment agenda.
- The Mayor funds a Skills Supplier Team (SST) which generates skills improvements and jobs from the GLA Group supply chain activity, including TfL (covering London Underground, TfL Streets, TfL Buses, London Overground), Metropolitan Police, London Fire Brigade and the London Development Agency.
- The National Apprenticeships Service (NAS) matches would-be apprentices with employers. Businesses contacting NAS will be able to discuss their needs; talk through the types of apprenticeships available, signpost them towards relevant training providers and advertise for a suitable apprentice. 100 per cent of funding for the training is provided for apprentices aged 16 to 18 and up to 50 per cent for those over
- Apprentices earn a wage and work alongside experienced staff to gain job-specific skills. Off the job - usually on a day-release basis - apprentices receive training to work towards nationally recognised qualifications. Anyone living in England, over 16 and not in full-time education can apply. Apprenticeships can take between one and four years to complete depending on the level of apprenticeship, the apprentices’ ability and the industry sector.
- 'Through the Team London - Skills for Success initiative - the Mayor and Team London's corporate partners are looking to help younger people in London find work and inspire other organisations to do the same.
- Building on the best practice within the eight of the Team London partners, the first phase of Skills for Success, till the end of June 2012, will see up to 5,800 younger people in London equipped with the skills that will help them achieve employment.- Training includes mentoring, CV writing skills, tours of the workplace, work experience placements. The corporate partners taking part include BT, P&G, KPMG, Citi, IBM, Addison Lee, Barclays, Bloomberg and the GLA will also be running sessions from City Hall.