UK Government

Department for Business, Innovation and Skills: Record number of Londoners successfully complete apprenticeships

Press Release   •   Dec 23, 2009 10:31 GMT

A record 143,400 people, including 8,600 people in London, completed an apprenticeship in the 2008/09 academic year, according to data on vocational qualifications released today by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

The statistics show a total of 8,600 people successfully completed an apprenticeship in 2008/09, compared to 6,200 in 2007/08 – an increase of 39 per cent and 2,400 extra apprentices in London.

Headline figures across the region also show that the number of completed apprenticeships in Brent, Haringey, Kingston-upon-Thames, Lambeth, Richmond-upon-Thames, Wandsworth, and Westminster doubled from 100 to 200.

In both Bromley and Croydon, completions rose from 300 to 500, an increase of 66 per cent.

Further large increases, each of 50 per cent, were recorded in Barking and Dagenham, Ealing, Enfield, Hounslow, Lewisham, Newham, Redbridge, Sutton, and Tower Hamlets, where the number of completions rose from 200 to 300.

The London Apprenticeship Taskforce, headed by Lord Young of Norwood Green, and comprising employers, local government representatives, college principals and training providers, aims to persuade more London employers to offer apprenticeships. The Task Force, established in 2008, has agreed action plans covering key sectors of the London workforce and is overseeing the dramatic expansion of the programme in London, where apprenticeship starts increased by 55 per cent between 2006/07 and 2008/09.

Today’s figures reveal significant rises across England and show that the Government has met its national target of 130,000 completions by 2010-11 two years early. The overall national success rate for apprenticeships was 70.9 per cent in 2008/09, smashing the target success rate of 65 per cent.

Nationally, a total of 239,900 people started an apprenticeship in 2008/09 compared to 224,800 people in 2007/08, and since 2003/04 the number of people starting an apprenticeship has increased by 24 per cent.

Apprenticeships Minister Kevin Brennan said:

“It’s great news that we’re seeing the highest ever number of people completing an apprenticeship, and that the success rates have jumped to over 70 per cent. I’d like to congratulate all of the people in London who have successfully completed an apprenticeship and all the businesses who continue to offer apprenticeships, even in difficult economic times.

“The figures speak for themselves: they show that apprenticeships today are rightly regarded as an excellent way to train and build the nation’s skills. As we rebuild growth, it’s essential that we continue to invest in people and their skills, especially in industries key to our future economic success.

“This Government has rescued and rebuilt apprenticeships from a low base in 1997, making significant investments and trebling apprenticeship numbers in order to provide opportunities for people to train for the jobs of the future. We know that business values the apprenticeship highly because this training is providing the skilled workers British businesses need for the future and Government remains committed to making it easier for businesses to offer them.”

Minister for London Tessa Jowell said:

“Skilled young people are essential to our city’s economic prosperity. They are vital at the best of times and, during a recession, they are one of the assets that will help us out of it. I’m delighted, therefore, that numbers of young Londoners both starting and completing their apprenticeships are on the up.

"It is essential that London’s key industries have the skilled workforces they need. The Government is putting plans in place to expand apprenticeships in a number of sectors in London, including in the IT, creative and cultural, passenger transport and logistics, health and active leisure industries.

“Apprenticeships are a fantastic way for a young person to begin a successful career, but they are of great benefit to employers too. Research for the National Apprenticeships Service found that 80 per cent of those employers who employ apprentices agree they make their workplace more productive.

“I congratulate the apprentices who have completed the first stage of their careers this year and London businesses providing these opportunities.”

Apprenticeships exist across the breadth of the economy in all sectors and industries. There are over 180 types of apprenticeships available in more than 80 sectors of industry and commerce, from engineering to boat building, and from veterinary nursing to accountancy.

Notes to editors

1. Headline figures, released today, include the following increases in successful completions between 2007/08 and 2008/09:
10,000 in the North East – an increase of 31 per cent from 7,600;
22,800 in the North West – an increase of 20 per cent from 19,000;
19,200 in Yorkshire and the Humber - an increase of 25 per cent from 15,400;
13,600 in the East Midlands – an increase of 27 per cent from 10,700;
17,300 in the West Midlands – an increase of 27 per cent from 13,600;
12,400 in the East of England – an increase of 25 per cent from 10,000;
8,600 in London – an increase of 39 per cent from 6,200;
20,600 in the South East – an increase of 26 per cent from 16,300; and
17,200 in the South West – an increase of 37 per cent from 12,500.

2.   Today’s apprenticeship figures can be and can be found at:

3.   Case study - London:

UK Border Agency

The UK Border Agency (UKBA) is a shadow agency of the Home Office, responsible for securing UK borders and controlling migration.

Senior management at the UKBA recognised that by offering the chance to gain job-relevant, nationally accredited qualifications to its younger employees, particularly those who had joined straight from school, they could unlock their talent and ensure they were highly skilled.

Sue Piggott-Forster, UKBA Strategic Projects Manager (Skills for Life), said: “We wanted to give younger staff the opportunity to broaden their understanding of the administrative tasks they perform. We felt it was important for them to appreciate how their work feeds into the wider objectives of UKBA.

“Gaining a recognised qualification is important. We hope it will motivate and inspire our younger staff to pursue further learning and career opportunities within our organisation.”

Nabeela Rasul, Executive Officer, Managed Migration, said: “A member of my team, Administrative Assistant Nicole Marriott, was keen to develop new skills that would help her gain confidence and to progress.”

An Apprenticeship in Business Administration provided the ideal solution, and the programme was delivered by Hawk Training.

Hawk’s Edyta Mazurkiewicz visited Nicole at work twice a month to deliver onsite training, advice and support. Edyta said: “Sessions lasted around two hours. I used various methods to assess Nicole’s competence within the Business Administration skills framework, including observations, discussions and written work. She proved a very progressive learner and simply flew through the programme.”

Nicole completed her apprenticeship in just six months, including an NVQLevel 2 qualification and EDI certificate in Business and Administration, together with a module on Employment Rights and Responsibilities.

Nabeela commented: “Nicole has flourished. She can analyse team targets very effectively; and if she identifies a potential problem, she refers it to me, along with a suggested solution, and then deals with it.”

Team Leader Chris Kates has also noticed a big difference. He said: “Before the programme, Nicole would often seek reassurance from her line manager; now, armed with her new-found self-confidence, she’s much more independent.”
Nicole has now taken on an increased workload and is acting as a mentor to a new recruit to the team. Keen to continue learning, she has already embarked on a Level 3 Advanced Apprenticeship programme.

4. For more information on apprenticeships go to

5. The Apprenticeships, Skills, Children and Learning Act received Royal Assent on 12 November 2009 setting out the first complete overhaul of apprenticeships since the early 19th century. The new legislation puts apprenticeships on a statutory basis and establishes the entitlement to an apprenticeship place for every suitably qualified young person who wants one – with a choice of two industry or service sectors, from 2013.

6. The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills published Skills for Growth – the National Skills Strategy, in November 2009, which sets out an ambitious vision for giving people and businesses the skills they need to help drive economic growth. The Government will create a modern class of technicians through a dramatic expansion of advanced apprenticeships, creating 35,000 new places over the next two years. For further information, see:


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