Mayor admits defeat on apprenticeships

Boris Johnson has admitted that he is unlikely to reach his target to create 250,000 apprenticeships between 2012 and 2016. The Mayor made the admission during a BBC interview marking the start of National Apprenticeship Week. Just four months after analysis from London Assembly Member Murad Qureshi revealed that apprenticeship numbers in Westminster had fallen for two years running.

Today Mr Qureshi said that the Mayor is “utterly failing young people” after it was revealed that amongst those apprenticeships which have been created, over half have gone to people over 25.

Government changes have meant that some types of in-work training have been reclassified as apprenticeships. The vast majority of people over 25 in apprenticeships already worked for their employer before starting an ‘apprenticeship’ under the new system.

Boris Johnson has a vast mountain to climb if he is going to come anywhere near delivering the quarter of a million apprenticeships he promised Londoners by 2016, particularly as in some boroughs, like Westminster apprenticeship numbers are actually falling.

Even with those apprenticeships which are being created, almost half of them are going to people over 25 years old and already in work. I’m greatly in favour of supporting people to develop their careers, but the government’s approach leaves the apprenticeship programme utterly failing young people.

The Government’s meddling with the apprenticeship system has meant in-work training which would have happened anyway is gobbling up the limited funds. This is locking out young people who desperately want an apprenticeship to give them a first step on the career ladder.

I spoke on this issue on London Live:


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