Mayor Sadiq Khan, has vowed to help boost the number of apprenticeships in the UK. The London mayor recently announced that he will aim to increase the number of new apprenticeships in the UK, and particularly London, by at least 2000.
Currently in the UK apprenticeships are funded by the levy which was introduced in April 2017 and is paid by businesses with an annual bill that exceeds £3m. Since then, apprenticeship rates in London alone have fallen by a staggering 21%.
In London, businesses statistically pay more towards the apprenticeships levy than any other region, however, it remains that at least 2 in 5 of these London businesses still do not utilise any of the available levy funds, a further 2 in 5 spend less than half of available funds.
This money in turn, ends up going back to the Treasury, when it could be getting invested into young Londoners. The most affected sectors are said to be hospitality, retail and construction. In spite of this, Khan has pledged to invest at least £1.3m in several trial projects with an aim of helping encourage employers to spend their levy funds on high quality apprenticeships, if not, transfer the money down the supply chain towards smaller businesses.
The Mayor is looking to boost his credentials as pro-business by creating at least 2,000 new training opportunities with hopes of turning these opportunities into apprenticeships. A focus being placed on the struggling sectors previously mentioned such as hospitality, construction and retail.
Khan has set up a separate scheme for the construction industry alone, creating a Construction Academy to help improve skills within the sector. He is also expanding the London Enterprise Adviser Network, investing £114m into new buildings along with equipment for skills training in London.
Mayor Sadiq Khan had this to say on his plans: “From biotech, engineering and construction to retail, hospitality and healthcare, London needs workers with the skills to support the rich variety of our economy. Given the uncertainty surrounding Brexit, ensuring a better and more responsive skills network – as well as continued access to global talent – is more important than ever. Apprenticeships are a key part of my commitment to being London’s most pro-business Mayor and giving young Londoners the skills they need to succeed – they benefit individuals, businesses and the whole London economy – so I’m delighted to be able to announce further funding to unlock more opportunities across the capital. Now we need the government to recognise our success and devolve adult careers services provision to City Hall.”