News & Publications

Skills for London’s economy by GLA Economics sets out what drives London’s economy, and what this means for future skills needs. This series of papers looks at the demand for jobs and skills in order to inform the Government’s area reviews of post-16 education and training, covering four London sub-regions. Thanks to London’s transport connectivity, the job opportunities available to learners are wider than a particular sub-region. The 2011 Census shows that less than half of all workers in London live in the same sub-regional area as their place of work. This calls for a broader, pan-London view. In the past three decades, London has become increasingly connected to the global economy and specialised in high value business services as a result. London’s growing workforce and resident population also generates demand for localised services such as schools, healthcare, retail and other customer services. These trends translate into increasing demand for a highly skilled and increasingly professional workforce in the capital. There is also likely to be a significant level of training needed to replace the more than half a million workers who leave their roles each year, and to help workers to adapt to changes in technologies and the nature of work.

Indices of Deprivation 2015 from GLA Intelligence shows that deprivation is still widespread in London, but is reducing, relative to other parts of England, and is becoming more dispersed over time. Taken overall, the Index of Multiple Deprivation 2015 shows Barking & Dagenham, Hackney and Tower Hamlets are the most deprived boroughs in London. London has low levels of deprivation in terms of employment, education and health, but higher levels of deprivation for income, crime, living environment and barriers to housing and services.

YouthStats is a new website from the United Nations Office of the Secretary General’s Envoy on Youth highlighting the situation of young people around the world.

Jobs and Skills in London: Building a more responsive skills system in the capital from the Institute for Public Policy Research suggests that London has created 760,000 jobs since 2010. The business services sector has accounted for almost 30% of this growth. A further 15% of jobs have been created within the education, health and care sectors, 13% within the information and communication sector and 10% in the construction sector. London has a reputation as a polarised city, combining a high-skill knowledge economy with a prevalence of low-paid, low-skill work. However, this report suggests that there is robust demand for mid-skilled occupations. Mid-skill occupations are expected to account for around a quarter of all openings between now and 2022. The occupations expected to generate the most new jobs are caring personal services and administrative occupations.

Finding your routes: non-graduate pathways in the UK’s labour market report by the Resolution Foundation, and commissioned by the Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission, analyses how poor career routes are holding back the “forgotten forty per cent” of the workforce – mid-skilled workers with at least five A*-C GCSEs but without a university education. The report suggests that in some sectors the labour market needs unblocking so that graduates don’t clog up non-graduate roles. While a continuing labour market recovery may help to resolve this issue, the government must be alive to any structural decline in job mobility among young people.

What and where you study matter for graduate earnings – but so does parents’ income, from the Institute for Fiscal Studies, evaluated the earnings of UK university graduates, 10 years after completing their courses. Graduates from richer family backgrounds earn significantly more after graduation than their poorer counterparts, even after completing the same degrees from the same universities. This is the first time a ‘big data’ approach has been used to look at how graduate earnings vary by institution of study, degree subject and parental income. The data set includes cohorts of graduates who started university in the period 1998–2011 and whose earnings (or lack of earnings) are then observed over a number of tax years.

Impetus Youth Jobs Index by the Learning and Work Institute shows an average of 1.3 million (17%) 16 to 24 year-olds spend 6 months out of education, employment or training. Their independent research using the same Labour Force Survey data as ONS, gives a fuller picture of both how long young people are out of education and employment for and how likely they are to get into a job having been NEET. The first of an annual series, the ‘Youth Jobs Index’ shows that young people are spending more time NEET than the government statistics suggest.

The Apprenticeship duty and how it affects schools from SecEd explains how the apprenticeship duty will affects schools and how many schools will be required to play a role in helping the government to meet its ambitious target of three million new Apprenticeships by 2020.

London Economy

The latest London forecast from GLA Economics ( 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 2016, 2017 and 2018.
  • London’s Gross Value Added growth rate is forecast to be 2.9 per cent in 2016 with growth increasing to 3.4 per cent in 2017 and 3.3 per cent in 2018.


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 December 2015 data):

Sector London % UK %
Agriculture, Forestry & Fishing 0.0 1.2
Manufacturing 2.2 7.8
Construction 5.3 6.6
Wholesale, Retail & Vehicle Repair 11.5 14.7
Transport & Storage 4.9 4.6
Hospitality & Catering 6.7 6.7
IT & Communications 7.5 4.0
Finance 7.2 3.4
Real Estate 2.3 1.6
Professional, Scientific & Technical 13.6 8.7
Administration 9.9 8.4
Public Administration & Defence 4.1 4.4
Education 7.8 8.7
Health & Social Work 10.0 12.4
Arts, Entertainment & Recreation 3.6 2.9
Other Services 2.6 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 May 2016 ONS Regional Labour Market Statistics show that:

  • Unemployment in London was 5.8% compared to 5.1% for great the UK as a whole and 3.8% in the South East.

Figures for April 2016 from show that:

  • The all age Jobseekers Allowance claimant rate was 1.8% in London, compared to 1.9% in the UK as a whole.
  • The 18-24 claimant rate was 2.2% in London, below the 2.7% for Great Britain 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 15 February 2016:

Sector Vacancies Applicants per Vacancy
Agriculture, Horticulture & Animal Care 2 13
Arts, Media & Publishing
Business, Administration & Law 460 22
Construction, Planning & the Built Environment 75 46
Education & Training 62 17
Engineering & Manufacturing Technologies 118 14
Health, Public Service & Care 387 15
Information & Communication Technology 91 38
Leisure, Travel & Tourism 10 13
Retail & Commercial Activity 261 11
Science & Mathematics

The unusually high number of Construction vacancies this month is due to many Advanced and Higher Apprenticeships notified by the Chartered Surveyors Training Trust. 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.