The Mayor, Boris Johnson, Tim Campbell and Simon Waugh joined 200 apprentices in a giant Mexican wave at City Hall to celebrate the announcement that the Mayor’s drive to create more apprentices in the capital has smashed its 20,000 target three months early and by almost 50 per cent.
Working in partnership with the National Apprenticeship Service (NAS), the Mayor’s campaign has seen a total of 28,120 people finding places on schemes with companies across a wide range of the capital's business sectors.
Its success means that London’s share of Apprenticeship starts has leapt from just five per cent to more than 8.5 per cent nationally in a year – the largest growth of anywhere in the country.
The Mayor and his ‘Apprenticeship Ambassador’ and former BBC ‘Apprentice’ winner Tim Campbell launched a major campaign in November last year to create 20,000 apprenticeships by September 2011.
A raft of big businesses responded to the Mayor's call and committed to creating Apprenticeships, including HSBC, Accenture, Microsoft, Norton Rose and Channel 4 committed to creating apprenticeships. Today, a further crop of well-known companies, including BSkyB, Visa Europe, Reed Group, Capgemini, Veolia and the National Theatre all revealed details of new schemes.
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: “I am extremely grateful to everyone who has helped us rise to this important challenge. In difficult times it is vital that we do all we can to create jobs and opportunities for the next generation and that we invest in measures that will help us to recover more quickly and convincingly. Whether it’s in banking, financial services, technology, media or the arts, we've sought to ensure that these young people are poised to take advantage of any opportunities that arise for them in the future, so that London is well poised to lead the rest of the UK out of recession.”
Simon Waugh, Chief Executive of the National Apprenticeship Service, said: “‘The number of apprentices taking an Advanced or Higher Apprenticeship has almost doubled since last year and our relationship with the Mayor of London and the GLA is crucial to sustain this drive and increase the level and quality of Apprenticeships across London. Visa Europe, BSkyB, Cap Gemini, Reed Partnership, the National Theatre and Veolia have now made commitments and we want to see more employers follow their example."
Sky has created almost 30 new Apprenticeships, which will be based at its west London offices as part of its commitment to increasing the number of opportunities it offers young people and supporting the Mayor’s initiative.
Deborah Baker, Sky’s Director for People, said: “We’re proud to be supporting this initiative by offering new and exciting apprenticeships at Sky where young people from across London will get the chance to work in the creative media industry. The placements will give candidates experiences of working behind the scenes at Sky as part of our Broadcast Operations, Drama or News teams or at the cutting edge of technology as part of our Sky Networks team. We are investing in developing the skills of young people as we see them as a crucial part of the long term success of our business.”