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Mayor will miss his 250,000 apprenticeship target leaving behind “embarrassing legacy”

Boris Johnson will fail to reach his target to create 250,000 apprenticeships before he leaves office it was highlighted today. The Mayor of London remains over 100,000 apprenticeship starts short of his target with less than two months left of his final mayoral term. Labour’s London Assembly Economy Spokesperson, Fiona Twycross AM, spoke out ahead of National Apprenticeship Week, saying the Mayor’s apprenticeships record was “deeply disappointing”.

Boris Johnson promised Londoners he would create 250,000 new apprenticeship starts during his second term in office. However, data from the Skills Funding Agency showed that just 142,340 apprenticeships have been created in the capital since May 2012. With the Mayor achieving just 56% of his target with less than two months to go before he leaves City Hall, he looks almost certain to break his pledge.

Of the apprenticeships created, almost half are going to over 25s despite youth unemployment in the capital remaining a significant problem at 16.8%. In 2014/15, the last full year for which data is available, 47% of apprentices were over the age of 25, an increase from 19% in 2009/10. Dr Twycross said the Mayor’s poor record had seen thousands of unemployed young Londoners left “on the side-lines, unable to get the career opportunities they desperately want.”

Labour London Assembly Economy Spokesperson, Fiona Twycross AM, said:

“Apprenticeships make a hugely valuable to London’s skills base and economy. Boris’ record on apprenticeships has been deeply disappointing. Even the Mayor must recognise that his failure to hit his 250,000 target is an embarrassing legacy to leave behind.

“But it isn’t just the Mayor’s pride which is at stake. He’s badly let down thousands of young Londoners who remain on the side-lines, unable to get the career opportunities they desperately want.

“As he moves on in his own career, he leaves a legacy of failure on creating apprenticeships which the new Mayor will need to tackle.”

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