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Boris Johnson announces 100 hours of work experience for young Londoners

Every young Londoner will have the opportunity to undertake 100 hours of work experience before the age of 16, the London Enterprise Panel (LEP) has announced.

The scheme, called London Ambitions, will include career insights, work tasters, coaching and part-time work for students. Schools will be expected to have user-friendly and up-to-date labour market intelligence, as well as an explicit, widely accessible careers policy.

Chair of the LEP and mayor of London Boris Johnson announced the scheme at City Hall, citing his varied employment history, which includes management consultancy and journalism.

“You only know what you are good at by doing it," he said. "You cannot discover who you are or what you are going to be from a computer algorithm. I hope this will deliver happiness and fulfilment to all young people who take it up.”

The London Ambitions report produced in conjunction with the scheme states that there is a “clear moral and economic purpose to improving careers provision”.

It reveals that the proportion of young people in apprenticeships and jobs with training in London stood at half the England average in 2014, and has fallen over the past 12 months. In London only 53.8% of people aged 18 to 24 are employed, compared to a national average of 61%.

Global chairman of Deloitte David Cruickshank told HR magazine HR will be integral to the programme’s success.

“Every company I know talks about a skills shortage. It’s about getting these connections made,” he said.

Cruickshank added he was optimistic about business involvement. “I’ve not yet come across a company not interested in coming into schools," he said. "Every time we ask people, they go out [to volunteer]. It’s also good for the employee going into the school – going into a different environment and using different skills is a learning experience.”