Last reviewed 11 October 2021

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, is encouraging low-paid Londoners and those facing unemployment when the furlough scheme ends to retrain for free and find good jobs in sectors with skills shortages.

London has the highest uptake of furlough in the country, with around 8% of eligible workers (297,100) still on furlough at the end of July 2021, against a UK average of 5%. Eight of the 10 local authorities with the highest furlough rates were in London. Hounslow, Newham, Barnet, Brent and Redbridge all had furlough rates of 10%.

As furlough ended on 30 September, a rise in unemployment was expected so the Mayor decided to offer training, regardless of people’s prior qualifications, to help them move into future-proof sectors of the economy that are seen as vital to London’s recovery.

“The end of furlough may signal the end of a regular income for many Londoners,” Mr Khan said, “with hundreds of people in the hospitality and service sector finding themselves out of work. This funding will help many people find their feet after what has been an extraordinarily difficult 18 months.”

He is making available £5 million to deliver the Mayor’s Academies Programme (MAP), of which £3 million will support new Academy Hubs bringing skills providers, employers and other partners together to help tackle skills gaps.

In addition, £6 million of London’s Adult Education Budget (AEB) has been made available to training providers working within an Academy Hub to provide bespoke support that will help these newly-skilled people into work.