The Institute of Carpenters (IoC) has secured a supply of trainees for members in the London area by linking up with the London Apprenticeship Company (LAC).

Funded by Westminster Council, the LAC is the country’s first “designated apprenticeship company”. It directly employs and trains apprentices and sub-contracts them to businesses in the capital for a “small fee”.

The aim is to take on 250 16-25-year-olds under the scheme this year, rising to 1,600 by 2014. They will be guaranteed on-the-job training by participating companies and, as part of the initiative, also gain qualifications, such as NVQs.

IoC director Duncan King said the scheme provided a “cost-effective, low risk way of making student craftspeople available to members”.

“The LAC offers a badly needed means of taking students into the workplace and, in turn, LAC apprentices are offered IoC student membership, which marks them as a cut above,” he said.

The LAC ( undertakes the matching of apprentices with the most suitable training provider.