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Apprenticeships to be given similar legal protection as degrees

Plans are underway to give the term 'apprenticeship' similar protections in law as degrees.

The provisions are to prevent people from misusing the term and applying it to low-quality courses that do not meet official standards.

Such protection is particularly important, the Government said, in light of its aim of delivering 3 million new apprenticeship starts during this Parliament.

Without protecting the term, it said there was a risk that the apprenticeship brand could be diluted and result in negative experiences for people who undertake other poor-quality schemes.

Protecting the apprenticeship brand

Measures are to be put in place to make it an offence to provide or offer a course or training as an apprenticeship if it is not a statutory apprenticeship, which could result in a fine and an appearance in a magistrate's court.

In the consultation on the issue, it emerged that 40 per cent of respondents were aware of the term being misused, but very few were able to give specific examples.

The Government said that there was little evidence of widespread misuse of the term 'apprenticeship', but felt that new legislation was necessary nevertheless to strengthen and protect the reputation of the apprenticeship brand for training providers, employers and apprentices.

Preventing unauthorised use of the apprenticeships name would give employers more confidence that they are investing in high-quality apprenticeships, the Government said.

The Government intends to introduce the measure as part of the Enterprise Bill this autumn.

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