APPRENTICESHIPS will be given legal protection as part of the Government’s efforts to given them the same status as university degrees.
The measure will be included in the Enterprise Bill which will start its passage through Parliament later this year and will also put the Government’s commitment to create three million apprenticeships by 2020 into law.
Public bodies, including schools and hospitals, will also be set targets for taking on apprentices.
The Coalition government claimed to have created two million apprenticeships but questions were raised over the quality. Ministers will hope the new law helps deflect that criticism.
Skills Minister Nick Boles said: “If university graduates have their moment in the sun so should people who undertake apprenticeships. Businesses know their value so it’s high time they were recognised both by the public and in law as being equal to degrees.
“We want far more employers to get involved in apprenticeships. This means making sure that we practise what we preach in Government, so we’re going require all public sector bodies – schools, hospitals, prisons and police forces – to employ apprentices.”