Number of apprenticeships started in Westminster falls for second year running


– Mayor Boris Johnson set to miss apprenticeships target
– London has second lowest apprenticeship start rate of all England’s regions

Analysis of the latest figures from the Skills Funding Agency by London Assembly Member Murad Qureshi AM, has shown that the number of people in Westminster starting apprenticeships has fallen for the second year running/since last year. The figures have cast major doubt on Boris Johnson’s ability to fulfil his election pledge to deliver 250,000 apprenticeships by 2016.

The provisional figures show that only 38,550 apprenticeships were started Londonwide in the 2013/14 academic year, down 6,520 on last year’s numbers. In Westminster the overall number of apprenticeships started dropped by 80 last year from 700 in 2012/13 to 620. This is the second year in a row in which the number of apprenticeship starts has fallen.

In June this year the Londonwide Local Enterprise Partnership stated that the capital would need to increase the number of apprentices by 19% each year if it is to hit the Mayor’s target. Despite that warning, London now has the second lowest apprenticeship start rate in the UK with only the North East lagging behind it. By contrast the North West saw almost double London’s number of apprenticeship starts.

Murad Qureshi AM, Labour London wide Assembly Member, said:

“It is deeply worrying that for the second year running the number of apprenticeships started in Westminster is falling, making it clearer than ever that Boris Johnson’s target is not going to be met.

“Good quality apprenticeships are vital to getting our young people the skills, training and expertise they need to succeed in the jobs market; particularly in a city as competitive as London.

“Last year’s fall in apprenticeships was a clear signal that the Mayor needed to do more to encourage companies to take on apprentices and work closely with local councils, yet little appears to have been done. Boris Johnson’s inability to get more businesses signed up for apprenticeships is not only leaving London falling behind the rest of the country, but letting down the young Londoners who are desperately seeking these kind of opportunities”



– The number of apprenticeships started by region:

Region 2011/12 2012/13 2013/14
Full Year Full Year
Full Year
North East 38,340 35,870 30,020
North West 89,310 84,180 70,640
Yorkshire and The Humber 64,200 59,900
East Midlands 46,790 49,010 39,290
West Midlands 60,470 62,430 51,400
East of England 45,820 46,220 39,870
London 47,230 45,070 38,550
South East 66,850 68,960 58,690
South West 55,950 52,540 45,200
England Total 515,000 504,200 426,200

Other 5,600 6,040 6,220

Grand Total 520,600 510,200 432,400

Source: Breakdown by geography, equality & diversity and sector subject area: starts 2013/14

– The London Enterprise Panel Skills and Employment Working Group, Apprenticeships Update can be found here.
– Murad Qureshi is a Labour London wide Assembly Member.

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