Government cracks down on ‘dodgy’ apprenticeships

Nick Boles MP says he is going to define 'apprenticeship' in law. Picture: Contributed
Nick Boles MP says he is going to define 'apprenticeship' in law. Picture: Contributed
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BOGUS training providers delivering sham apprenticeships will come under fire from the government today when it publishes its response to a wide-ranging consultation with business over the summer.

The Department of Business said yesterday that it had unearthed substantial evidence of “dodgy” training providers who offer students spurious apprenticeships only for the students later to find out they are unqualified and “not in a real job”.

The cases came to light as the government introduces new powers in the Enterprise Bill to in future prosecute training providers who misuse the term ­apprenticeship.

“In the future, anyone offering fake or low-quality apprenticeships training could face the possibility of a fine and prosecution in a magistrates court,” the Department of Business said yesterday.

Skills Minister Nick Boles said: “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.”

The government says its consultation showed that companies finding students lured into apprenticeships that offered sub-standard training ranged from “a family firm of electricians in Milton Keynes” to construction and support services giant, Balfour Beatty.

Leo Quinn, chief executive of Balfour Beatty, which recruits 150 apprentices a year, welcomed the new protection saying it would add to the “status” of apprenticeships.