News & Publications

Governments have failed a generation of young people, according to the House of Lords Select Committee on Social Mobility. 53% of young people do not follow the ‘traditional’ academic route into work. This majority of young people are significantly overlooked in their transition to work by the education system and the focus on apprenticeships is not suitable for everyone. The Committee makes eight recommendations to the Government, which support the development of a more coherent and straightforward system to help young people aged 14 and over through the transition from education to work. These include:

  • The national curriculum stopping at the age of 14, rather than 16 and the ages of 14-19 being recognised as a single key transition stage.
  • A new gold standard in independent careers advice and guidance, which moves responsibility away from schools and colleges.
  • For the Government to act as a facilitator, brokering collaboration between existing local bodies such as colleges, schools, local authorities local enterprise partnerships and employers in order to meet the needs of local labour markets.
  • That a Cabinet-level Minister takes responsibility for the transition from school to work for young people (as responsibility currently falls between a number of departments and ministers).

Skill Shortages and Gaps in European Enterprises report from the European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training shows that most vacancy bottlenecks arise because of factors other than general skill deficits, including job offers of poor quality. Genuine skill shortages affect a small group of dynamic, internationally oriented European enterprises in specific economic sectors. To avoid these skill bottlenecks, European companies must commit to offering high-quality apprenticeship places and good-quality jobs.

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 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 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 April 2016 ONS Regional Labour Market Statistics show that:

  • Unemployment in London was 6.3% compared to 5.1% for the UK as a whole and 3.8% in the South East.

Figures for March 2016 from show that:

  • The all age Jobseekers Allowance claimant rate was 1.9% in London, the same as the UK as a whole.
  • The 18-24 claimant rate was 2.3% in London, below the 2.9% 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 17
Arts, Media & Publishing 2 25
Business, Administration & Law 591 30
Construction, Planning & the Built Environment 139 8
Education & Training 13 24
Engineering & Manufacturing Technologies 193 14
Health, Public Service & Care 514 15
Information & Communication Technology 185 40
Leisure, Travel & Tourism 10 18
Retail & Commercial Activity 446 10
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.