With National Apprenticeship Week kicking off next week, the pair joined forces to encourage London's hospitality businesses, which employ around 300,000 people, to consider apprentices as a way to plug the skills gap and give more young people a chance to build a career in hospitality.
Johnson, who last year pledged to help create 100,000 apprenticeships, said there was potential to improve on the figure of 5,000 apprentices already working in the capital's food industry.
"From restaurants and bars, to shops and suppliers the capital’s food industry is a booming trade that has huge potential to give thousands of young Londoners their first big break on the career ladder," said Johnson. "With 100,000 apprenticeships now under our belt I believe this vibrant sector of our economy can play an increasingly important role in helping to swell that number even further.”
Brasserie Blanc apprentices
Brasserie Blanc itself has pledged to take on 21 apprentices this year who will be employed across the restaurant group and will work in a range of roles in the kitchen and front-of-house. Each apprentice will also be assigned a mentor and be assessed and supported by the De Vere Training Academy.
Blanc said: “As an employer I want to provide a nurturing, caring environment to give young people the very best chance to succeed. I know that many of my colleagues also believe that it is vital that the restaurant and hospitality sector has home-grown talent to develop the necessary skills for the future; long term our businesses will gain from it.
"I am self-taught and it was hard - I longed for a mentor to guide me through my career - so I am 100 per cent behind the Mayor’s drive to bring as many young people into our business and to give them the best chance to excel.”
Last month The Hospitality Guild urged businesses to help tackle the issue of youth unemployment through its Act NOW! campaign. To continue its campaign the guild will be holding a range of events in partnership with People 1st, PACE, the Institute of Hospitality (IoH) and the Academy of Culinary Arts next week for National Apprenticeship Week.
The events will be held throughout England and will include a variety of interactive workshops, seminars, employer surgeries, and online activities, including the IoH's Passion 4 Hospitality, an event designed to bring employers and students together to talk about the opportunities involved within the industry.
Suzy Jackson, executive director at the Hospitality Guild said: “We know apprenticeships make a fantastic contribution to businesses in our sector, and research has shown that four in ten employers find apprentices far more productive than hiring new staff, while 49 percent say they made them more competitive.
“Learners stand to gain too with amazing career development opportunity and a chance to earn while they are getting trained to the standard the employer needs.
“This is why we’ve worked with our partners to come up with a wide range of activities during National Apprenticeship Week to give employers, providers and individuals practical advice on apprenticeships – whether they are new to the concept or already offering them."