News & Publications

Captial 500 London Quarterly Economic Survey from the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry, finds one in ten (11%) companies expect their workforce to increase in size, compared to just 5% who expect it to decrease. Regional labourmarket statistics appear to support the positive trend in employment levels in London, with the total number of workforce jobs estimated to have risen by 35,000 during the previous quarter.

A Winning Personality report from the Sutton Trust exams the link between family background, personality, aspirations and adult career attainment. It finds ‘highly extroverted’ adults more likely to earn over £40,000 a year and found that those with these qualities are much less likely to come from poorer backgrounds. The report explores whether character traits which may be shaped by a child’s background could be holding disadvantaged youngsters back in their future careers.

Briefing: apprenticeships in cities from Centre for Cities examines how the take-up of apprenticeships varies between cities. In 2013/14, the top three cities for apprenticeship starts per thousand of working-age population were Sunderland, Barnsley and Middlesbrough. Oxford, Cambridge and London were the bottom three cities. In 40 out of 56 English cities most apprenticeship starts were in business, administration and law (on average 31 per cent of all starts). Fewer than one in five apprentices in cities started in engineering, construction, maths and science.

Delivering traineeships through EFA funding. The government will remove the requirement that providers must be graded ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted to deliver traineeships. This puts traineeships on par with other further education provision. This change will now apply from 1 February 2016.

London Economy

The latest London forecast from GLA Economics ( suggests that:

On the whole the outlook for the London economy remains positive for the coming years.

  • London household income and spending are both forecast to increase over the next three years.
  • London is forecast to see rises in employment in 2015, 2016 and 2017.
  • London’s Gross Value Added (GVA) growth rate is forecast to be 3.4 per cent in 2015 with growth moderating to 3.2 per cent in 2016 and 2.7 per cent in 2017


The Office for National Statistics website has data on employment, unemployment, wages and qualifications at national, regional, local authority and ward level. The latest figures for employment by industry sector (based on September 2015 data):

Sector London % UK %
Agriculture, Forestry & Fishing 0.0 1.2
Manufacturing 2.4 7.8
Construction 5.3 6.6
Wholesale, Retail & Vehicle Repair 11.7 14.7
Transport & Storage 5.0 4.5
Hospitality & Catering 6.6 6.6
IT & Communications 7.7 4.0
Finance 7.0 3.4
Real Estate 2.1 1.6
Professional, Scientific & Technical 13.7 8.6
Administration 9.8 8.5
Public Administration & Defence 4.1 4.4
Education 7.6 8.7
Health & Social Work 9.8 12.4
Arts, Entertainment & Recreation 3.7 2.9
Other Services 2.7 2.6

Future Employment

The annual report from GLA Economics shows that jobs in London are projected to grow by an annual average rate of 0.69 per cent, equivalent to 40,800 jobs per annum, to reach 6.418 million in 2036. The report also provides future projections for both the occupations and qualifications of those employed in London:

  • Employment growth is projected in some service sectors, including the professions, scientific & technical, information & communication, admin & support, and accommodation & food service.
  • Projected declines in manufacturing and some other sectors, including wholesale, transportation and storage, and public administration.
  • Increased demand for higher level qualifications – the proportion of jobs in London requiring either a degree is projected to reach 53 per cent by 2036, with the proportion of jobs with no qualifications reaching less than 5 per cent.

The full report can be found in the GLA London Datastore.


The unemployment rate in London remains higher than the UK as a whole and much higher than the South East. The January 2016 ONS Regional Labour Market Statistics show that:

  • Unemployment in London was 6.2% compared to 5.1% for the UK as a whole and 3.7% in the South East.

Figures for December 2015 from show that:

  • The all age Jobseekers Allowance claimant rate was 1.7% in London, above the 1.5% in the UK as a whole.
  • The 18-24 claimant rate was 1.9% in London, the same as the UK as a whole. The 12 months and 6-12 month claimant rates were slightly lower or the same in London for this age group as the UK as a whole.

Graduate Employment

According to the latest (2015) edition of the annual What Do Graduates Do? report:

  • This year more graduates found work than ever before – 76.6% of graduates were working or combining work and study, against 75.6% in 2012/13 and unemployment fell from 7.3% for 2012/13 to 6.3% this year.
  • The majority of graduates who were in work, 68.2%, were in professional level employment, up from 66.3% the year before.
  • Four professions saw an increase of 500 or more graduate entrants last year – business project workers, HR and recruitment professionals, nurses and marketers.
  • The largest falls in numbers of graduate entrants were in sales and retail roles, and in routine office work.
  • The average salary for a graduate from the 2013/14 cohort working full time after six months was £20,637.

The full report can be found on the HECSU website.


In London the number of people of all ages starting an apprenticeship has increased by over 400% since 2005-06, with a figure of 45,550 starts in 2014-15. However, the proportion of under 25 year-old starters fell from 100% to 56% over the same period. A recent Ofsted report recommended that the planned growth in apprenticeships should prioritise young people aged 16 to 24. Figures since 2011-12 show a fall in total apprenticeship starts – according to the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills this decrease is due to “quality improvement measures”. A TES article has examined this fall in more detail.

Apprenticeship Starts Age Under 19 % Age 19-24 %
England London England London England London
2005-06 175,000 11,010 57% 55% 43% 44%
2011-12 520,600 47,230 25% 23% 31% 29%
2012-13 510,200 45,070 22% 21% 32% 31%
2013-14 440,400 40,050 27% 24% 36% 36%
2014-15 499,900 45,550 25% 22% 31% 32%

Data from

The Find an apprenticeship service is run by the National Apprenticeship Service and advertises vacancies across the country. Looking at a sample of advertised vacancies in London live on 1 February 2016.

Sector Vacancies Applicants per Vacancy
Agriculture, Horticulture & Animal Care 17 9
Arts, Media & Publishing 17 20
Business, Administration & Law 840 14
Construction, Planning & the Built Environment 23 28
Education & Training 19 19
Engineering & Manufacturing Technologies 206 15
Health, Public Service & Care 674 12
Information & Communication Technology 180 27
Leisure, Travel & Tourism 54 8
Retail & Commercial Activity 584 6
Science & Mathematics

A more detailed of a sample of apprenticeship vacancies can be found in Apprenticeships: A Guide for Advisers (2015) on the CLC Building Futures Apprenticeships page. Weekly updates of highlighted new vacancies in Central London can be found on the Live full-time and part-time jobs page.

Minimum & Living Wage

The National Minimum Wage is set by the government, based on recommendations from the Low Pay Commission. It is the minimum hourly rate that employers must pay their workers. The government has introduced a new National Living Wage, that must be paid to workers who are 25 or over from April 2016. This new National Living Wage is not be confused with the London Living Wage, which is not binding on employers, is based on the cost of living in London and is set by the Living Wage Foundation.

Living Wage


National Minimum/Living Wage




Under 18























* National Minimum Wage increase in effect from 1 October 2015. The new National Living Wage for 25+ year-olds is introduced from April 2016.

** This rate is for apprentices under 19 or those in their first year. All other apprentices are entitled to the National Minimum Wage for their age.