The financial services sector is the number one target for Boris Johnsons new campaign to create more than 20,000 apprenticeships this academic year.

The Mayor of London and his ‘Apprenticeship’ Ambassador, Tim Campbell are personally writing to 100 of the capital’s top companies, urging them to help Londoners into work and boost the economy by creating thousands of new Apprenticeships.

Appeals have already being sent to 50 of London’s largest businesses and 50 small and medium sized employers in the business, financial and creative sectors, as part of a huge drive to bolster Apprenticeship levels in the capital. The campaign is particularly focused on companies in sectors not traditionally linked to Apprenticeships.

National Skills Academy for Financial Services (NSAFS) Sylvia Perrins, CEO, supports the initiative:

“Apprenticeships are the skills solution for the new generation. Not only do apprenticeships provide a cost-effective and flexible work-based learning pathway, they can also be a great benefit to companies as they get an employer who is moulded to their business needs.

Apprenticeships also provide the training structure that enables people to perform their role as effectively and as skilled as possible. It is a real alternative route to young people and young adults to avoid debt they would incur if they follow a traditional university pathway.

“The financial services sector is putting itself ahead of the game, realising that with increased university tuition fees there will be a shortage of graduates in years to come as well as being attractive to those people who are put off incurring several years of debt through student loans.

“The NSAFS has been providing apprenticeships for the past two years across the financial services industry in London and across England. In some sectors of financial services, uptake has been growing, particularly in insurance and with some investment banks. We could make a real impact if the retail banking sector were to join this growing club and wholeheartedly embrace apprenticeships.

“We are working with the National Apprenticeship Service to progress the Mayor’s plans. The key to success is an active three-way partnership between the employer, the apprentice and the training provider.”