Public bodies to be handed apprenticeship targets

(L-R) Skills minister Nick Boles and Nathan Chase, a higher apprentice at BAE Systems
(L-R) Skills minister Nick Boles and Nathan Chase, a higher apprentice at BAE Systems
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Public sector bodies will be given targets to boost apprenticeships as the Government aims to boost vocational training.

The Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) revealed its plans to meet the commitment of creating three million apprenticeships by 2020.

Skills minister Nick Boles will legally protect the term apprentice as part of the Enterprise Bill, BIS said.

The Government will then be able to act if low-quality courses are promoted as apprenticeships.

Schools, hospitals, prisons and police forces will also be set targets to create opportunities for young people.

Mr 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.”

More than 2.2 million apprenticeships have been created since 2010, BIS said.