Boris Johnson has defended his record on apprenticeships after Labour claimed he was set to miss his target of creating 250,000 posts during his second term as mayor.
When Mr Johnson sought re-election in May 2012 he promised “to work constructively with London business to generate a further 250,000 apprenticeships by 2016”.
However data published by the government’s Skills Funding Agency shows that just 142,340 posts have been created during the term.
Labour’s Economy Spokesperson on the London Assembly, Fiona Twycross AM, said the shortfall is “an embarrassing legacy to leave behind” and claimed Mr Johnson had “badly let down thousands of young Londoners who remain on the side-lines, unable to get the career opportunities they desperately want.”
She added: “As he moves on in his own career, he leaves a legacy of failure on creating apprenticeships which the new Mayor will need to tackle.”
The Mayor’s office has defended his record, claiming the number of apprenticeships created each year “has more than doubled” thanks to his support and funding.
A spokesperson said: “London now regularly generates over 40,000 apprenticeship starts each year, compared to only 70,000 between 2005 and 2010 prior to the Mayor’s campaign.
“These vastly improved results are thanks to the significant work and investment the Mayor is coordinating alongside the national apprenticeships service and employers.”
Responding to Dr Twycross’s criticisms, the spokesperson added: “The nearly 236,000 apprentices who have begun work in London since 2010 would view the Mayor’s championing of apprenticeships as a success, not a failure.”