City of London Corporation: apprentices can build future UK workforce

The City of London Corporation is celebrating National Apprenticeship Week with 181 people currently kickstarting their careers at the organisation in a diverse range of jobs across London and southeast England.

Its Policy Chairman, Chris Hayward, today said apprenticeships, which give people a paid job while studying for a formal qualification, could help build the UK’s future workforce.

The City Corporation has a unique role in being the local authority for the City of London, as well as promoting the UK financial and professional services industry at home and abroad.

It has supported the career development of 538 people – including its own staff - through apprenticeship placements since 2017.

It runs some of the country’s best public services, protecting 11,000 acres of green space, such as Epping Forest and Hampstead Heath, providing social housing across six London boroughs, running three wholesale markets, and acting as the London Port Health Authority – the largest such authority by area in the UK.

Its Destination City programme aims to make the Square Mile a world-leading leisure destination, and the organisation is a major funder of heritage and cultural activities in the UK, investing over £130m every year. It manages and supports a range of world-class institutions for the public good, including the Barbican Centre, Tower Bridge, Guildhall School of Music & Drama, Guildhall Art Gallery, the Museum of London, and London Metropolitan Archives.

It sponsors 10 academies across Hackney, Islington, Newham, and Southwark through the City of London Academies Trust, and it owns and manages the Central Criminal Court (Old Bailey), where some of the highest profile criminal trials in England and Wales are held.

It also runs the Heathrow Animal Reception Centre, which assesses all animals entering the UK through Heathrow Airport. The facility makes sure all animals comply with relevant legislation and that the UK is protected from diseases like rabies. 

Apprentices from a diverse range of backgrounds work across these areas, including in horticulture, animal care, butchery, events management, civil engineering, transport, and planning. They are paid the Living Wage and continue to be supported with careers advice after their apprenticeship.

City Corporation Policy Chairman, Chris Hayward, said:

“Employing apprentices is an effective way for companies to acquire and develop the skills their firms need.

“It’s a great way to kick-start a young person’s career, provides a stepping stone into the world of business, and helps build the UK’s future workforce.

“We are proud of our long-standing commitment to improving the career prospects of young people, empowering them to try out different jobs, experience a range of sectors, and discover new ways into employment.”

Chair of the City Corporation’s Education Board, Caroline Haines, said:

“It’s well-known that apprenticeships offer huge potential to transform both industries and lives.

“Giving people an opportunity to earn and learn is a brilliant way to bridge the skills gap faced by many sectors.

“Apprenticeships were traditionally focused on providing the knowledge and skills needed for people at the start of their careers, but these days, people of all ages, backgrounds and interests are choosing this route.

“We are pleased to be able to offer this to anyone who is interested in enhancing their skills or taking an alternative route to university.”

City Corporation apprentice Animal Attendant at Heathrow Animal Reception Centre, Katy Lovell, said:

“I chose to do the level 2 Animal Management, and level 3 Keeper and Aquarist apprenticeship at Heathrow Animal Reception Centre, because I have always enjoyed learning in a practical environment.

“I also wanted to gain knowledge and experience in a different animal care sector to the ones in which I had previously worked.

“Both these apprenticeships have challenged me academically, expanded my knowledge, and helped me learn new skills to progress in my career.

“And I have gained more confidence which will also benefit my personal development.”

City Corporation apprentice, Assistant Head of Security at the Central Criminal Court (Old Bailey), Peter Sowemimo, said:

I wanted to enhance my skills and personal development by pursuing a leadership apprenticeship.

“It is helping me to gain valuable knowledge and skills, and giving me a real understanding of leadership theory, strategy, and best practice.

“I am learning how to effectively use data, be adaptable, solve problems, and motivate people to reach their full potential.

“One of the major benefits is the opportunity to collaborate with experienced leaders in the organisation. Their guidance has given me insights into real-life leadership scenarios and practical tools to navigate complex situations.”

The City Corporation will hold its annual London Careers Festival between 26 February and 8 March, connecting tens of thousands of pupils to a wide range of leading global businesses, apprenticeship providers and other career opportunities across the capital.

To find out more about the London Careers Festival visit www.londoncareersfestival.org.uk

The City Corporation is also sole trustee of Bridge House Estates – which maintains five iconic London bridges, and awards charity grants of over £30 million a year to tackle disadvantage across the capital through City Bridge Trust – and it has also made an extra £200 million available over five years from 2021 to 2026 to support London’s charity sector.

About the City of London Corporation:

The City of London Corporation is the governing body of the Square Mile dedicated to a vibrant and thriving City, supporting a diverse and sustainable London within a globally successful UK – www.cityoflondon.gov.uk