Mayor kick starts National Apprenticeship Week with Olympic Park visit

14 March 2016

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson has kick started National Apprenticeship Week by visiting the army of apprentices that are helping to secure the capital’s Olympic legacy at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

More than 150 apprenticeships have been delivered to date at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, with 61 apprentices working on the Park for a variety of employers this year alone. New apprenticeships are being offered with businesses now resident on the Park, including eight apprentices in creative and digital media who will spend two years with BT Sport at Here East.

Here East, once the Press and Broadcast Centre for the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, is a new commercial space spanning the size of 16 football pitches and providing 7,500 jobs on site and in the local community.

The long-term legacy of all the permanent venues on the Olympic Park have been secured, with all venues transformed or in the process of being so, and apprentices have played a role in this success. Today, the Mayor met a range of apprentices currently working in construction, landscaping, leisure, hospitality, engineering and media at the Park. He also spent time with some BT Sport apprentices who are learning post-production skills such as editing in the production suite in Europe’s largest LED lit studio, where he tried his hand as a floor manager under their tutelage.

Apprenticeships are a great way to learn vital skills while earning money and boosting London’s economy. Apprentices on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park largely consist of local residents, particularly young people and those who face significant barriers to entering or returning to the labour market, who have had the opportunity to learn skills in a range of roles. With housing forming a major part of the Olympic legacy, construction apprenticeships have been vital. 130 construction apprentices have worked on the Park so far and many more will build the five new neighbourhoods, delivering 6,800 new homes by 2035.

The apprenticeship positions created to date are merely the beginning. The next phase of the Park’s development will see hundreds more apprenticeships created over a number of years through the continued construction of the new neighbourhoods, the ongoing management of the Park and through the arrival of world-class institutions including University College London East, University of the Arts London College of Fashion, Saddler’s Wells and the V&A East, who will make up the cultural and education district, Olympicopolis.

The Mayor has consistently championed the benefits of apprenticeships to businesses during his mayoralty. Over the last year, he has doubled employer apprenticeship grants to enable more small and medium sized businesses take on apprentices as well as funded a network of apprentice ambassadors to help promote the opportunities in schools.

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson MP, said: “It is fantastic to see the role that apprentices have played in securing the future of this glorious park. We all remember the enthusiasm and buzz surrounding the 2012 Games, and that is the same enthusiasm you get from talking to apprentices here today. I would urge any businesses yet to take on an apprentice to do so. There is a rich talent pool of young Londoners available to you who can help your business grow.”

David Goldstone, Chief Executive of the London Legacy Development Corporation, said: “The apprentices are one of the key cornerstones of our workforce, laying the bricks for our new neighbourhoods, encouraging budding sportspeople in our venues and maintaining the 560 acres of beautiful parklands that have already been enjoyed by millions of visitors. They have helped to secure the future of the Park and, by undertaking an apprenticeship, we hope they have secured their futures too.”

Previous winner of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park Apprentice of the Year Award, Leanne Doig, said: “I've wanted to work in construction ever since I was little, just like my dad, and he's really proud that I've had the chance to work on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. My apprenticeship is just the start of my career. I want to run my own business one day and hire lots of women, because we need more women in construction."

The wider GLA family are also creating apprenticeships in support of the Mayor’s target. Since April 2009, Transport for London and its supply chain have created over 6,000 apprenticeship roles. Crossrail and its contractors also pledged to offer 400 apprenticeship roles over the lifetime of the major construction project and they have reached this target with two years to go. The transport apprentices are working on some of the biggest transport projects in the world, including the Tube modernisation programme as well as the £4bn Road Modernisation Plan. With London’s population at an all-time high, the apprentices are playing a vital part in supporting 30 million journeys every day, whilst supporting jobs and economic growth in London and across the UK.

All apprentices living in London aged 18 or over and in their first year of an approved course can save 30 percent against the price of adult rate Travelcards and Bus & Tram Passes with an Apprenticeship Oyster photocard which could save them over £600 a year.

As well as encouraging businesses to open their doors to apprentices, the Mayor is calling on the capital’s business leaders to support career education for young Londoners, to make sure they’re equipped with the knowledge they need to enter the workplace. The new London Ambitions Portal has been set up for businesses to engage with schools and showcase the experiences of work that business can offer to pupils with over 100 pilot schools across the capital and more coming on board next month. Businesses can also promote work experience, internship and apprenticeship opportunities to London’s schools through the portal. BskyB, EY, Accenture and CISCO are amongst those already on board, businesses can sign-up at for London Ambition Portal at

National Apprenticeship Week runs from 14-20 March 2016. To find out more about the Mayor’s apprenticeship scheme go to or view the Mayors 2020 vision at

The 2015/16 Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park Apprenticeship Awards, which celebrate the hard work and commitment of the Park’s apprentices and their employers, will take place on Wednesday 23 March 2016 at City Hall. More details here:


Notes to editors

  • Apprenticeships continue to be a Mayoral priority and the Mayor is dedicating £130m from the European Social Fund to support young people to learn workplace skills over the next two years.
  • Since 2010, 235,380 apprenticeship starts have been created in London.
  • The number of young Londoners not in education, employment or training in London is at its lowest since 2000.
  • The latest employment rate for 16-24 year olds is the highest since 2008.
  • The Mayor is funding the Apprenticeship Information Ambassadors Network to work with schools across the capital in supporting 500 young people into apprenticeship roles.
  • In addition to 150 apprenticeships at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, 40,000 jobs will have been created on and around the Park by 2025. Here East is creating 7,000 jobs on site and in the local community, as well as 3,000 jobs through Olympicopolis.
  • Venues on the Park and date when they reopened: London Aquatics Centre (April 2014) Copper Box Arena (July 2013) Lee Valley Velopark (March 2014), Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre (new facility created after 2012) and former Olympic Stadium (reopening in June 2016).
  • London’s newest visitor destination, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, is a place unlike any other. Visitors to the Park are able to enjoy beautiful parklands and waterways, world-famous sporting venues, arts and events and spectacular views from the ArcelorMittal Orbit. As a new heart for east London, the Park will also provide new homes, jobs and a cultural and education quarter.

    The London Legacy Development Corporation promotes and delivers physical, social, economic and environmental regeneration in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and the surrounding area, in particular by maximising the legacy of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. 

    For more information visit, follow us on Twitter @noordinarypark and like us on Facebook 

  • The London Ambitions portal sits within the London Ambitions Careers Offer framework recently launched by the Mayor and the London Enterprise Panel.  The London Ambitions Careers Offer can be found at  Our ambition is for London pupils to benefit from at least 100 hours of experience of the world of work during their time at school. We want to promote a wide range of business offers from careers talks to work experience and schools materials from across all industry sectors to make this happen.