Government Proposals to Improve Apprenticeships

The Government has announced plans to give apprenticeships better legal protection with the aim of preventing Employers from abusing the term.

The proposals include a new Enterprise Bill which require that apprenticeships carry at least a year’s training and that any unauthorised use of the term will be unlawful.

The aim of the Government is to bring apprenticeships into the 21st century and to strengthen their reputation to ensure that they are a recognised career path which are equal to and just as important as higher education.

The Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) has recently announced that it will set up targets for major public bodies, for example schools, hospitals, police forces, prisons, and other public sector bodies to take on more apprentices.

In particular the Government aims to create three million apprenticeships by the end of the current parliament and to make them a serious choice for school leavers and a popular career route. It is hoped that this strategy will tackle youth unemployment which has been an issue for many years under successive Governments.

These details also coincide with the findings of the Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission which looked into the issue of recruitment by the UK’s larger law firms and financial service providers. It reported that many of these firms operate a ‘poshness test’ that in effect has a detrimental impact on talented working people, and that 70% of job offers are made to graduates who had attended the country’s top state or fee paying schools.

It is hoped that by promoting the importance and prominence of modern day apprenticeships this will ensure that hard working people will be able to access the top jobs, and that they will no longer just be the preserve of the elite in our society.

Naturally the devil will be in the detail once the legislative proposals have been published and revealed so watch this space.

If you would like more information speak to our Employment Solicitor, Steven Eckett on 020 7998 7777 or email him at

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