100 apprenticeships created by Tower Hamlets council in just six weeks

28th December 2017

The New Year has begun with 100 new apprenticeships in London’s expanding East End which have been started since Tower Hamlets began its ‘Apprenticeship Commitment’ just six weeks ago.

Mayor John Biggs launched the scheme in November with 150 businesses promising to create openings and training for jobseekers.

“At least 1,000 people will benefit from the Apprenticeship Commitment,” the mayor said. “Businesses tell me how apprentices play a role in their organisations and help create a skilled workforce.”

Six youngsters have been taken on by the Berkeley construction group, like Kelsey Tuffin who has started a two-year painting and decorating apprenticeship at two sites at Canary Wharf’s South Quay Plaza at and Whitechapel’s Goodman’s Field scheme.

She said: “The advantage of an apprenticeship is you earn while you learn. I’ve already learned rolling walls, cutting in and using the right tools and equipment for each job and enjoying it!”

The scheme is a fresh source of skilled labour for companies which have signed up, filling a desperate gap in trained-up workforce.

Berkeley Group’s Stav Aristokle Hill said: “Apprenticeships mean we are giving back to the communities we’re working with while supporting industry to fill some of those skills gaps that we have.

“It’s also important that we support apprentices finding their feet, balancing their college work and assignments with what is often a physically demanding job.”

This latest apprenticeship programme launched at an event at Bethnal Green’s Town Hall hotel in November is being geared to Tower Hamlets’ growing population, with another 100,000 predicted in the next decade, as well as meeting the skills shortage. It was set up because getting on-the-job training remained a barrier to employment “for too many young people,” the launch was told. The “barrier” was despite a 72 per employment level in the East End.

The council has committed itself to creating 1,000 apprenticeships in the next three years, for jobseekers to tap into the benefits of east London’s current expansion and economic growth.

It follows the town hall’s ‘Pathfinder’ project getting 350 people into jobs since April, including 100 apprentices. Some 800 jobs have been created over the last three years by the council’s Growth and Economic Development service which persuades employers to go for trainee placements as “investment in people”.