By Daniel Hunter

Leading companies in Tech City, Europe’s fastest growing technology cluster, are launching a major Tech City Apprenticeship programme for unemployed young Londoners.

The Tech City Apprenticeship programme will give 500 unemployed young people the opportunity to work in London's most exciting and high-profile digital companies, including Google Campus, Facebook, TechHub, Moo.com, Poke London, The Trampery and Passion Capital.

In addition to the apprenticeship places in these leading digital companies, an apprenticeship training centre in the Olympic Park broadcasting centre will provide up to 350 young people each week with the skills training they need to work in Tech City.

The Tech City Apprenticeship programme will be managed by Hackney Community College. It is targeted at 16-24 year-old unemployed young people, and will officially start in January 2013. The programme is funded by the Government and Hackney Council.

A Tech City Apprenticeship is a full-time 15-month programme for 16-24 year-olds, combining a job and specialised skills training. Training in English, maths and a Technical Certificate will be taught at Hackney Community College.

The first cohort of Tech City Apprenticeships will be focused on IT skills, online marketing skills and ‘front of house’ skills for shared office spaces. Advanced Tech City Apprenticeships in programming and digital design will start in autumn 2013.

The Tech City Apprenticeship programme was launched by Rohan Silva, Senior Policy Adviser to the Prime Minister, at a keynote speech at the Future London conference at Canary Wharf on Tuesday 20 November. Silva created the Tech City initiative in 2010 and chairs the Tech City Advisory Board.

Announcing the programme at the Future London conference, Silva said:

“Tech City is proud to be responding to the Evening Standard’s fantastic Ladder for London campaign. The Tech City apprenticeship scheme will give hundreds of unemployed young people the chance to work for some of the most exciting digital companies in East London, the fastest growing technology cluster in the world. Young Londoners have so much talent, creativity and energy - this programme will give them a chance to shine.”

Welcoming the initiative, Mayor of London Boris Johnson said:

"As we gear up to host the capital's largest careers event at Skills London, the news that 500 young people are getting the opportunity to boost their prospects and contribute to the growth of Tech City is just fantastic. London's digital sector has huge job-generating potential and it is initiatives like this which will be key to helping us to create 100,000 apprenticeships by the end of the year."

Joanna Shields, the incoming chief executive of Tech City Investment Organisation, said:

“It’s fantastic that so many top businesses have signed up to offer Tech City Apprenticeships. Young people across London want to work for technology companies, and this scheme will give them a chance to learn valuable new skills and kickstart their career.”

Ian Ashman, Principal of Hackney Community College, said:

“The two biggest challenges faced by Tech City today are recruiting the skilled people the businesses need, and getting local people into the fantastic jobs that this sector has to offer. Tech City Apprenticeships will address both of these challenges.”

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