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Tech City firms launch apprenticeship scheme for London youngsters

20 Nov 2012
Old Street roundabout in east London

A number of Tech City's most high-profile tech companies have joined forces to launch an apprenticeship programme for 500 young people in London.

The tech companies taking part in the programme include Google and Facebook, as well as start-ups TechHub and Moo.com.

Rohan Silva, a senior policy adviser to the prime minister, who also created the Tech City initiative in 2010, launched the programme.

"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," said Silva.

The programme will be managed by Hackney Community College and is targeted at 16 to 24-year-olds who are unemployed.

"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," said Ian Ashman, principal of Hackney Community College.

Young people can officially start the government-funded programme in January next year.

The apprenticeships will last for 15 months and combine a job and specialised skills training. Training in English, maths and technology will also 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, while advanced Tech City apprenticeships in programming and digital design will start in autumn 2013.

In addition to the apprenticeship places, 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.

Mayor of London Boris Johnson welcomed the news.

"Five hundred 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," he said.

The apprenticeship programme is launched as it emerges the government's funding cuts in education are holding back schools from teaching children how to start up their own businesses.

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