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Why we’re happy that the government plans to protect apprenticeships

The thought of fake apprenticeships operating within the educational sector is appalling.

Safeera Sarjoo
12th February 2016
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In our eyes, there is nothing worse than taking advantage of a student who is committed to learning. So naturally, we were thrilled to hear that the government announced plans to crack down on fake apprenticeships, which have left students struggling to secure a job and having to undertake additional training.

After a summer consultation, it was revealed that students were entering particular industries only part qualified without adequate training, worked based experience and practical skills.

Anyone found to be offering fake or low quality apprenticeships will face either a fine or prosecution according to new measures set out in the Enterprise Bill.

Nick Boles, the Skills Minister said in an official statement, ‘Everyone knows what a university degree means. It's an official title. Young people doing apprenticeships should get the same level of distinction. I'm supporting working people by defining the word "apprenticeship" in law. This will ensure people get the best training and opportunities.'

To give you an example of how fake apprenticeships affects young people, Ruth Devine, the Director of SJD Electricals was in the news recently having found that students applying for jobs were not actually qualified.

She said to the press, 'A number of applicants applying for jobs at SJD who thought they had completed apprenticeships, were surprised to find that they were not fully qualified. Low quality training courses contribute to the many instances of poor workmanship we come across.'

Foundation before creation

Students are aware that apprenticeships provides a legitimate path into their chosen career and within society, the tide has definitely turned with the government pledging to create three million new apprenticeships by 2020.

What impressed us at Training and Courses was the way in which action has been taken so swiftly in order to lay out foundations instead of just focusing on meeting those ambitious targets. This should definitely give students a vote of confidence that there are efforts being made to safeguard their futures and provide them with the best apprenticeships across the country.

However there is one question that will be on everyone's lips - how do we ascertain what is a low quality apprenticeship?

This is where it gets a bit challenging. With so many industries offering apprenticeships, it's not as easy as issuing a simple set of guidelines those businesses need to abide by. Students are expected to learn specific skills and go to interviews with relevant practical experience. If any guidelines are to be introduced, they will definitely need to be industry specific. We'll be keeping our eyes peeled on how the government plans to tackle this.

Though it's really off putting to hear how companies have taken advantage of some students, we believe the number of institutions and businesses offering exceptional apprenticeships far outweigh the bad. We should know – we list a number of recognised providers who offer fantastic apprenticeships across several sectors.

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