Plans launched to crackdown on fake apprenticeships

22 September 2015

Companies who offer unofficial training courses and pass them off as apprenticeships are being outlawed under the government’s plans to enhance apprenticeship recognition within the UK – set to commence from this week.

The BBC states that young people are increasingly being enticed by employers who provide fake apprenticeships, which offer little professional development and can result in young people being unqualified and out of work. Because of this, the government have launched a crackdown on employers who misuse the term “apprenticeship”, with plans to give apprenticeships legal protection and prevent those who abuse the current system.

Ministers say that apprenticeships are in need of similar controls to university degrees. Nick Boles, Minister of State for Skills said:

“Everyone knows what a university degree means,”

“It’s an official title. Young people doing apprenticeships should get the same level of distinction.”

The government’s response to redefining apprenticeship follows the introduction of the Enterprise Bill, which includes a clause on prosecuting providers who claim to be offering apprenticeships but in fact offer only low-level training.

In the government’s consultation on protecting the term “apprenticeship” which ran in August, more than 90 responses from employers, private training providers, colleges, universities and schools as well as apprentices supported this notion. Two-fifths acknowledged the misuse of the term. Among them the building company Balfour Beatty and a family firm of electricians from Milton Keynes.

David Cameron has promised to create three million more apprenticeships by 2020. But fears remain that providers will undermine these new plans and try to pass off basic, low quality courses as a high standard qualification.

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