Hundreds join Tower Hamlets apprentice scheme to beat jobless queue

Up to 300 school-leavers and young people under 25 have joined this year’s local authority apprenticeship scheme in London’s deprived East End with its above-average youth unemployment.

They have started a 12-month programme with Tower Hamlets Council departments to get work experience and qualifications including NVQ.

Mayor Lutfur Rahman, who met the latest apprentices during last week’s induction, said: “Providing people with avenues to learning and development will help bridge the gap preventing them taking up job opportunities.”

The scheme is aimed at building a skilled workforce in the East End reflecting the needs of the community.

Apprentices study towards an NVQ Level 2 in Business and Administration or Health & Social Care and are paid to work 30 hours a week in departments throughout the authority. Applicants aged 16 to 24 must live in Tower Hamlets to qualify for the scheme.

Youth unemployment in the East End is above the national average, with many school-leavers unable to find a job in the first year.