London Mayor Boris Johnson aims to bolster the uptake of apprenticeships by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the capital by doubling the grant normally available to employers recruiting an apprentice. Johnson has set aside £1.5 million for that purpose in a move that could help a thousand young people join apprenticeship programmes at London companies, notgoingtouni.co.uk has reported.
Companies taking on an apprentice typically receive an incentive payment amounting to £1,500. However, Johnson is offering SMEs £3,000 as part of his campaign to create more employment opportunities for young Londoners. Johnson recently provided further evidence of his support for apprenticeships by launching a scheme that allows apprentices to reduce their London travel costs by as much as 30%.
As a result of Johnson’s work with the National Apprenticeship Service, the number of apprenticeships created in the capital since 2010 has exceeded 100,000. The mayor has set himself the goal of lifting that number to 250,000 by the end of 2016.
Commenting on the latest initiative, Johnson pointed out that SMEs were the backbone of London’s economy and a key provider of employment opportunities for local young people. Businesses that have recruited apprentices are already aware of the benefits to be had, including a boost to profitability. The aim is to encourage more companies to join the apprenticeship push. The latest incentive is targeted at SMEs, and business owners from all over London should grab the opportunity it presents. As they reap the benefits associated with apprentices, local SMEs will also help drive the wider London economy, Johnson added.