Apprentices: London's future workforce

  • By Cllr Peter John OBE

This week I attended the London Borough Apprenticeship Awards ceremony which celebrates the brilliant work and commitment of apprentices. Each year London Councils presents awards to outstanding apprentices and managers from London’s local authorities, as well as to boroughs that have worked with their supply chains and local businesses to generate new apprenticeship opportunities. Once again we had some outstanding nominations (click to read the winners’ stories). 

Our borough apprentices all have unique stories, but I am always amazed by the absolute commitment and enthusiasm which so many of them have shown. They really are the Chief Executives and Directors of the future and we need to treat them as such.

The creation of apprenticeships in London’s boroughs is a fundamental part of our corporate social responsibility. Since 2009, the boroughs have collectively created more than 7,000 apprenticeships, and in the past 12 months alone we’ve have created more than 1,300 apprenticeships – with many opportunities being created amongst those we contract with. Whilst this is an impressive figure it still only equates to less than 40 apprentices per borough. We can do better.

With more young people recognising that an apprenticeship is an exciting alternative to higher education, London’s councils must continue to be at the forefront of creating opportunities and leading our communities by the example we set.  With the government’s proposed apprenticeship reforms on the horizon, such as the introduction of the Apprenticeship Levy, employers taking the lead in developing new standards and changes to the way apprentices are assessed, there has never been a better time to ensure that the apprenticeship model works for the capital, it’s businesses and most importantly for future apprentices. 

Cllr Peter John OBE, London Councils Executive Member for Children, Skills and Employment