Mayor of London accused of failing youngsters

Mayor of London Boris Johnson has been accused of failing young people, after research shows the number of apprenticeships in Hackney, Islington and Waltham Forest decreased and many were taken by those over 25.

The London Assembly member for these three areas made a statement after research found that over half of apprenticeships created have been taken by people over the age of 25.

Figures revealed by the government showed than between 2011 and 2012, 3990 apprentices started work in the three boroughs and this fell to 3,550 between 2013 and 2014.

London Assembly member, Jennette Arnold stated: “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 Hackney, Islington and Waltham Forest, 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. This is locking out young people who desperately want an apprenticeship to give them a first step on the career ladder,” she added.

A spokesperson for the London Mayor said: “Over 40,000 people now start an apprenticeship every year in London, which is more than double the number starting four years ago.

“Thousands of new apprenticeships are being generated for young Londoners and that is part of the reason why the number not in education, employment or high quality training is now at its lowest total since records began.”