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Investing in apprenticeships today will guarantee the City thrives tomorrow

City A.M. Monday, 14 August 2017 ()
Investing in apprenticeships today will guarantee the City thrives tomorrowAs A-level results day approaches, many young people nervously await confirmation of university places that will hopefully unlock the door to a rewarding and lucrative career.

Achieving strong A-level results can of course open the door to a promising future, but more employers are stressing the importance of soft skills in the recruitment of young people and graduates. The economy is growing steadily, but we need to address the skills gap and ensure that young people are well prepared for the world of work, in order to bolster this economic growth.

London hosts some of the world’s most successful firms and will continue to drive employment growth across the UK. These employers will need thousands of talented young people to expand their workforce and ensure they remain competitive on a global scale.

Engaging in apprenticeships is one of many ways in which employers can acquire and develop the skills their firms need, while improving the employability of the next

generation.

The education system can teach school leavers a huge number of transferable skills that will ease their transition into the workforce, but teachers can also inform students of the variety of work and study options available to them other than university. Apprenticeships are one of the key ways young people can gain employability skills that offer real opportunities to become job-ready and transform their prospects.

Recent figures show that 75 per cent of apprentice employers say that apprenticeships cut recruitment costs. And 92 per cent believe an apprenticeship programme leads to a more motivated and satisfied workforce.

These statistics show the benefits of apprenticeships to the wider workforce of a company, and why businesses should consider doing more to bring in a next generation of workers to train and nurture.

Apprenticeships have a part to play in supporting social mobility, and tie in with the City Corporation’s ambition of realising a more diverse workforce in the Square Mile. The City of London Corporation is leading by example and recently announced its pledge to hire 100 new apprentices. All City Corporation apprentices are paid London Living Wage.

I’m proud that the City of London Corporation recently became the sponsor of the Social Mobility Employer Index, which rates employers on their efforts to increase social mobility.

We have just recently launched Apprenticeships in the City, our free programme of apprenticeship support, which is targeted at small and medium banking and asset management firms new to apprenticeships, to educate them on the benefits apprentices can provide, and aid them in developing an apprenticeship programme.

This free programme is delivered by the City of London Corporation and its many partners, and is part of our commitment to building the skills the City needs for the future and connecting the opportunities with London’s diverse talent.

We must do more to challenge and change the perceptions of apprenticeships – let’s make apprenticeships work for our businesses and our communities.
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