The term “apprenticeship” will be legally protected in new measures announced today as part of the governments new Enterprise Bill.
This is great news for apprenticeships which will soon be given the same treatment in law as degrees. This means that it would be illegal to use the term to describe training unless the scheme provides at least a years training and meets other specific requirements. The Department for Business Innovation and Skills said the legislation would give the government power to take action if the term was “misused to promote low quality courses”. This will strengthen the reputation of apprenticeships, help working people and ensure apprenticeships are recognised as a career path equal to degrees. Skills Minister Nick Boles said "If university graduates have their moment in the sun so should people who undertake apprenticeships. Businesses know their value so it’s high time they were recognised both by the public and in law as being equal to degrees.
“We want employers to get involved in apprenticeships. This means making sure we practise what we preach in government, so we’re going to require all public sector bodies – schools, hospitals, prisons and police forces – to employ apprentices".
With apprenticeships proven to increase the earnings of those who undertake them and 7 out of 10 employers finding that apprenticeships are beneficial to their business, the benefits speak for themselves.
This move by the government is a great step in the right direction to get apprenticeships more widely recognised and increase the take up of apprenticeships not only by young people, but by the schools and parents providing careers guidance to young people and who are key to promoting apprenticeships as a viable career path.