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London businesses urged to increase intake of apprentices
Young Londoners are in danger of losing out as the economy recovers unless more apprenticeship opportunities are provided for them, the Mayor warned today. He did so as he announced a new Transport for London apprenticeship scheme that will see fifty young people, sourced by the London Apprenticeship Company (LAC), to take part in a training programme at the London Transport Museum.
On the second day of National Apprenticeship Week the Mayor and the LAC called for more to be done to support apprentices in the capital, especially in these challenging times, when so many young Londoners are finding it difficult to find jobs and work experience. He urged businesses across the capital to invest in its workforce to ensure we continue building the skills needed to retain London's competitiveness and future prosperity.
Over 80 per cent of businesses that employ apprentices report increased productivity in the workplace. The Mayor is urging companies across the capital to take advantage of the support available from organisations such as the LAC who can help businesses, particularly smaller firms, through the process of finding and recruiting apprentices.
The Mayor was visiting the LAC's open day in central London where he met with apprentices and employers and organisations that have benefited from hosting young people. The new TfL scheme targets 15-19 year olds not in education, employment or training (NEET). The fifty young apprentices will be selected at assessment centres with TfL suppliers including London Cycle Hire contractors Serco. Today's 'open day' event showcased the work of the London Apprenticeship Company, which is part funded by the London Development Agency, in supporting small and medium sized enterprises and organisations to take on apprentices.
The Mayor said: “As we creep out of the recession we must double our efforts to ensure that the capital’s youth are getting every chance to excel in their chosen fields. If we don’t get more young Londoners into training and employment we are in danger of creating a wasted generation.
"The London Apprenticeship Company is making a lasting contribution to the London and UK workforce but it cannot succeed alone. Many employers, including those here today, will tell you how taking on an apprentice is a fantastic way to bring fresh talent and energy into the team and build the basis for future growth. I salute all businesses across London that already have apprenticeship schemes in place and am encouraging many more to follow suit.”
Jeremy Hempstead, acting CEO, London Apprenticeship Company said: "The London Apprenticeship Company is honoured and delighted that the Mayor has found time to attend, speak and present certificates to the first of our apprentices to complete their London Apprenticeship.
"We appreciate the Mayor finding time for the London Apprenticeship Company in his busy schedule. This vote of confidence is a reflection of his commitment both to the London Apprenticeship Company and more importantly our aim to deliver meaningful employment and training to young people in London through apprenticeships."
Hannah Mayne was hired as an apprentice by business organisation London First in summer 2009. Baroness Jo Valentine, Chief Executive of London First said: “Apprenticeships are a valuable way in which employers can provide opportunities to young Londoners and nurture valuable members of staff. We have been delighted with Hannah’s progress. Hannah has received mentoring and opportunities to develop her skills, while London First has benefited through employing a dedicated member of staff at a competitive rate who is eager to learn and grow, and who provides valuable support across the organisation. As one of the first organisations to take on an apprentice from the London Apprentice Company we are delighted with the support they have provided.”
Sam Blower, an apprentice at the London College of Beauty Therapy: “I think that both experience and education are important which is why I wanted to do an apprenticeship. The LAC has really helped me before and during my placement at the London College of Beauty Therapy, which has been fantastic. I have had the opportunity to work in many areas of the college and I’m provided with all the support I need in order to learn and develop. I’m really excited about the LAC event at the London Transport Museum next week as well as making a speech alongside the Mayor of London, which will be another great experience.”
The Mayor has been driving the apprenticeship agenda forward in London and has a joint commitment to create 3,000 apprenticeships across the GLA Group by 2012. Today’s announcement is a further example of how he is joining up the work of the GLA family through TfL and LDA investment in the London Apprenticeship Company.
Notes to Editors
1. The London Apprenticeship Company is a not for profit organisation dedicated to increasing the number of apprenticeships in London and reducing youth unemployment. In the past, apprenticeship schemes have been a good idea in principle but in practice very hard to administer, the LAC model is so simple you wonder why it was ever done any other way. The LAC employs the apprentice on behalf of a host company and as a result, takes away all the hassles of recruitment. They organise the training element, offer a full mentoring service for the apprentices and get them prepared for the job they are interested in doing.
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