Small firms ‘key to boosting apprenticeships and jobs in capital’
Boris Johnson recently encouraged small and medium-sized businesses in London to create apprenticeships and help drive the capital out of recession.
The Mayor of London has secured £6m from the Government to offer a cash incentive of £1500 to small firms taking on apprentices, available from the National Apprenticeship Service. Businesses are also eligible to receive up to 100 percent funding towards apprentices’ training costs.
In London, SMEs are responsible for the majority of the 63,700 apprenticeship opportunities that have been created since 2010.
Johnson, who has set a target to deliver 100,000 apprenticeships by the end of 2012, wants to ensure SMEs are aware of the support and funding available so they can proactively grow their business as well as helping to bolster London’s economic future.
His campaign is particularly focused on sectors not traditionally linked to apprenticeships, as well as big businesses. Some employers that have signed up to deliver apprenticeships include the Football Association, HSBC and electronics maker Sony.
In addition to providing hope and opportunity to jobseekers, many of whom will use the skills they develop to go on to permanent positions, these companies will benefit from motivated employees who can become a loyal part of the workforce.
Johnson said: “London’s small and medium sized employers are the backbone of the economy and critical to creating jobs and powering us out of recession. In the last 18 months they have really stepped up to the plate, delivering thousands of new apprenticeships across the city. However, there are many more still out there who are yet to benefit from this win-win situation and I urge them to find out about the financial support available and commit to taking on an apprentice.”
Vic Grimes, Divisional Apprenticeships Director – London & South East of the National Apprenticeship Service, said: “The Mayor’s rallying cry to businesses highlights the importance that employers and business organisations across the capital place on Apprenticeships. I’m delighted that the National Apprenticeship Service (NAS) is working closely with the Mayor to ensure that employers are able to recruit high calibre apprentices and source the quality training their organisations need. We provide the expertise to make the process easier for employers and our website apprenticeships.org.uk provides comprehensive information for prospective apprentices and employers. This is a challenging target but is essential for the future of our young people and the continued growth of small and medium sized businesses in the capital.”
Tim Campbell, the Mayor’s Ambassador for Skills and Enterprise said: “The best preparation for the economic recovery that small businesses can do is invest in talent. Apprenticeships bring that talent in and help small business owners retain and nurture it as they grow making choosing an apprentice not charitable but a smart business decision.
Roy Hardy, Director at Coreco, an independent Mortgage Brokerage said: “The Apprenticeship Scheme has been a really positive experience for us and I would highly recommend it to other SMEs, whatever sector you happen to be in. Recruitment in our industry is very tough at the moment and we desperately need to attract some new talent. This scheme enables us to train the new people in what we believe is the right way of doing things from day one, whilst the experience they get will help them to move into a permanent role with us or act as a spring board to other things.
“There are many excellent young people who really deserve a chance to get into a forward thinking business, such as Coreco, and we could not be happier with those we have working with us. They really do have the potential to be stars of the future. We also benefit from having fresh ideas and a totally different outlook which is essential to take into account when looking to grow our business further.”
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