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Boris boosts apprenticeship funding for London SMEs

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Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, has announced he's going to provide £1.5 million to help London's SMEs take on more apprentices.

This funding boost will mean small businesses in the capital that commit to hiring an apprentice for 12 months will receive a payment of £3,000. This is double the £1,500 grant available to firms elsewhere in the country.

Johnson said: "This incentive is aimed specifically at SMEs and I'm urging company bosses from all corners of the capital to check out how it can benefit them and the wider London economy."

Yesterday Johnson was speaking at City Hall to mark the publication of 2020 vision - The greatest city on earth: ambitions for London report, where he outlined plans to make London the "best city in the world" - with technology set to play a major part in his strategy.

The mayor highlighted the importance of "digital skills" for the future of the city.

Also at the launch event was Joanna Shields, chief executive of Tech City and UK business ambassador for Digital Industries. She explained through a combination of "creativity, entrepreneurship and investment" London has secured its place as "Europe's digital capital".

"Digital skills are the currency of the future and increasing the number of apprenticeships and workplace opportunities is vital to our continued growth," Shields said.

"We look forward to working with the mayor to boost digital skills, establish entrepreneurship as a credible career path and make London the best place to imagine, start and grow a business."