Training and development furthered with apprenticeships.A record 143,400 people completed an apprenticeship in 2008-09, new figures from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills have revealed, which could improve the training and development of employees.

Of these, 8,600 individuals in London finished an apprenticeship, with an increase in completions of 66 per cent being experienced in Croydon and Bromley.

Barking and Dagenham, Enfield and Ealing saw an increase in completions of 50 per cent. A new talent pool could now be available to not only businesses in the capital but across the UK.

Commenting on the figures, apprenticeships minister Kevin Brennan said: “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.”

The department has also announced that the new Skills Funding Agency will be led by Learning and Skills Council chief executive Geoff Russell. The agency will become responsible for adult skills in April 2010.