Brent and Harrow
5 May 2016 Vote for
Sadiq Khan Mayor of London
Navin Shah GLA Brent & Harrow
Labour Party Londonwide

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Mayor admits defeat on apprenticeships

Boris Johnson has admitted that he is unlikely to reach his target to create 250,000 apprenticeships between 2012 and 2016. The Mayor made the admission during a BBC interview marking the start of National Apprenticeship Week. Just four months after analysis from London Assembly Member Navin Shah revealed that apprenticeship numbers in Brent and Harrow had fallen for two years running.


The Mayor is “utterly failing young people” after it was revealed today that amongst those apprenticeships which have been created, over half have gone to people over 25.

Government changes have meant that some types of in-work training have been reclassified as apprenticeships. The vast majority of people over 25 in apprenticeships already worked for their employer before starting an ‘apprenticeship’ under the new system.

Boris Johnson has a vast mountain to climb if he is going to come anywhere near delivering the quarter of a million apprenticeships he promised Londoners by 2016, particularly as in some boroughs, like Brent and Harrow apprenticeship numbers are actually falling.

Even with those apprenticeships which are being created, almost half of them are going to people over 25 years old and already in work. I’m greatly in favour of supporting people to develop their careers, but the government’s approach leaves the apprenticeship programme utterly failing young people.

The Government’s meddling with the apprenticeship system has meant in-work training which would have happened anyway is gobbling up the limited funds. This is locking out young people who desperately want an apprenticeship to give them a first step on the career ladder.






-       Mayor Boris Johnson pledged that between 2012 and 2016 he would create 250,000 new apprenticeships in London.

-       In response to a recent Mayor’s Question response the Mayor stated that between April 2012-June 2014, 96,500 apprentice starts have been reported in London. The table below details the total number of apprentice starts achieved over this timeframe, broken down by quarter and academic year.



























Note: Apprenticeship starts are not reported on a monthly basis so Q1 2012/13 includes starts reported in April 2012.

Note: Q1 2014/15 data is provisional and cannot be verified until Q1 2015/16.

Note: Q2 2014/15 data is expected late March 2015.

-       The latest Government breakdowns of London apprenticeship starts in 2012/13 and 2013/14 shows that:


Apprenticeship starts for over-25s in London since 2009/10

2009/10 – 3,900 (19% of all apprenticeships)

2010/11 – 17,810 (43%)

2011/12 – 22,820 (48%)

2012/13 – 21,560 (48%)

2013/14 – 16,190 (40%)


-       93% of apprentices over the age of 25 already worked for their employer prior to starting an apprenticeship.

-       “Only around a third of 16-18 year olds (36%) already worked for their employer before their Apprenticeship, increasing to 42% of 19-20 year olds, 64% of 21-24 year olds and 93% of those aged 25 or older.”
Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, Apprenticeship Pay Survey 2014 (p.43)

-       The latest Government breakdowns of London apprenticeship starts in each Local Education Authority from 2011/12 to 2013/14 shows that:

Apprenticeship starts in Brent since 2011/12

2011/12 – 1,730

2012/13 – 1,520

2013/14 – 1,340

Apprenticeship starts in Harrow since 2011/12

2011/12 – 1,120

2012/13 – 970

2013/14 – 830