By Maximilian Clarke

Mayor Boris Johnson has today (Friday) announced that 40,000 new apprenticeships and is on track for creating a total of 100,000 by late 2012.

The announcement comes after a near 10% drop in university applications due to soaring tuition fees, and at a time when youth (16-24 year olds) unemployment persistently threatens to breach the landmark 1,000,000 mark.

“As we grapple with difficult economic conditions and a tough labour market it is clear that an increasing number of employers are helping to address the problem by turning to apprenticeships as a way of supporting their businesses and developing employee skills,” said Mayor Boris.

“Becoming an apprentice is no longer seen as a second choice career option and many school leavers are yearning for the opportunity to take their first step on the career ladder.

The Mayor and his ‘Apprenticeship Ambassador’ and former BBC ‘Apprentice’ winner Tim Campbell launched a major campaign in November last year to boost the number of apprenticeships in the capital. Boris Johnson and Tim lobbied and personally wrote to some of the capital's biggest employers, urging them to play their part in helping Londoners into work.

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