Apprenticeships for London

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It is important that apprenticeship schemes are recognised as a serious first step on the career ladder. Securing an apprenticeship can be the perfect way to earn while you learn, improving a young person’s career prospects and the skills needed to suceed in the world of work. As well as improving long term employment prospects, they can also reduce youth crime caused by unemployment and foster an atmosphere of respect in the workplace and the community. This is why we are working to create around 20,000 apprenticeships this year in London.

We are already on target to meet this goal, with 9,000 created this year already. To mark National Apprenticeship Week, I attended a conference with Tim Campbell, the Mayor’s Apprenticeship Ambassador, where 40 young Londoners were present. I am delighted to be taking part in this important, topical debate, as an apprenticeship can often be the making of a young person, and I hope that all levels of government will work with employers to improve access to good apprenticeship openings in the future.

I was also extremely glad that, at the launch of National Apprenticeship Week in London, Microsoft announced that they will be creating 1,000 apprenticeships over the next three years in London. This is, obviously, fantastic news, and has helped to contribute to an increase of 30% on the number of apprenticeship openings in London last year.

As university or college is not ideal for everyone, it is vital that apprenticeships come to be seen as a viable alternative, delivering career success that no degree ever could. I welcome the decisions of large companies such as BT to take on more apprentices, as this will help to show that apprentices go on to have successful careers, often becoming a company’s most loyal and productive employees, and that businesses can recruit high calibre employees in this way.

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