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Legalising apprenticeships – what does this mean for you?

The reputation of apprenticeships is changing, but what does that mean for you, the apprentice?

Jane McGuire
12th February 2016
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As the government changes make the headlines, the promise of three million more apprenticeships is undoubtedly a good thing. Yet why does it matter that the term ‘apprenticeship’ is protected and who are they protecting it from?

To simplify things, it helps to compare this to the term ‘degree’, which has been protected in the same way for years. This means, for example, we couldn’t create a degree in training and courses without getting this approved and receiving authorisation to run the course. On the other hand, before the recent changes we could have legally created an apprenticeship.

So what does this mean? As an apprentice, you can now rest assured that the course you are taking has been checked and monitored to ensure you are receiving the correct training to further your career. To legally describe any training as an ‘apprenticeship’ the company or organisation will have to provide evidence that the scheme provides at least a year’s training, and meets a number of other requirements including minimum hours of guided learning and employment. Every apprenticeship will also, by law, have to provide training to Level 2 in Maths and English if the apprentice doesn’t already have it.  Your learning is protected; therefore as an apprentice, you are too.

Yet this also runs far deeper than just the term ‘apprentice’. As well as the authorisation, the government has shared a commitment to create 3 million more apprenticeships by 2020. The age old stigma is changing and the importance of apprenticeship training is getting noticed. With the change in term, an apprenticeship will be recognised as a career path equal to that of higher education.

The final announcement looks at the roll out of nine new Degree Apprenticeships – combining higher education and apprenticeship training. Degree Apprenticeships will be in key areas such as Aerospace Engineering and Chartered Surveying and will be a more practical training, combining degree learning and workplace experience. As a degree apprentice, your time will be split between university based study and the workplace, and you will gain a full bachelor’s degree whilst earning a wage throughout your study. Places for starts this September will be available in the already developed Degree Apprenticeships in digital, automotive engineering, banking relationship manager and construction.

Still confused? To help you understand the changes, we’ve come up with this lovely looking infographic below. Finally, to find your perfect apprenticeship, search here to see what’s out there. 


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