Home Business NewsBusiness LCCI: Next mayor should promote apprenticeships to SMEs

LCCI: Next mayor should promote apprenticeships to SMEs

by LLB Editor
23rd Feb 12 12:56 pm

The winner of May’s mayoral elections must ensure SMEs are aware of the benefits that offering apprenticeships bring, the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) said.

Many employers overlook vocational qualifications such as NVQs and apprenticeships when they are looking to recruit and instead favour formal academic qualifications, the group said in its manifesto.

The LCCI welcomed commitments made by mayor of London Boris Johnson to create apprenticeships in the capital, but said the message was not reaching a number of SMEs.

Colin Stanbridge, the chief executive of LCCI, said: “Many SMEs simply do not realise the ways their business can benefit from taking on an apprentice and can be put off for fear that the process will be too complex. We want the next mayor to continue to raise awareness of apprenticeships across the capital, like backing our 100 apprenticeships in 100 days campaign.

“This demonstrates to SMEs the great way to bring enthusiastic people into a business and build loyalty and commitment which is especially important for SMEs.”

The LCCI’s manifesto focuses on four key areas which it wants the next mayor to develop. Among the 17 pledges, there are policy suggestions for the mayor on transport and infrastructure, crime and policing, competitiveness and growth, and skills and employment.

Almost half (44 per cent) of London business believe the next mayor should focus on delivering a more competitive city in which to do business, an LCCI survey found.

Building a competitive economy was considered the highest priority of businesses, while 21 per cent of firms said transport should be top of the mayor’s list and 11 per cent said crime.

More than half of companies (56 per cent) said boosting the number of police patrols at night would help improve the night-time economy, while almost three quarters (74 per cent) reckon the mayor should be handed control of the capital’s suburban rail network.

Stanbridge said: “London is one of the greatest cities in the world to do business and it is vital that the next mayor uses their unique platform to ensure it stays this way.

“Our manifesto lays out practical steps that the mayor can take to ensure that London continues to attract and retain the best businesses in the world.”

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