Government goes on offensive against ‘‘fake apprenticeships’’

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) decision to stamp out ‘‘fake apprenticeships’’ has been welcomed by the AELP after it was discovered that companies were attempting to pass off training courses as apprenticeships.

BIS discovered that rogue training providers were terming their training courses as apprenticeships. One IT company was offering an apprenticeship which included just six days worth of training for employees throughout the whole year.  An  official apprenticeship requires a minimum of one days training a week for a whole year.

BIS also revealed that some ‘‘apprenticeship’’ providers never even monitored or visited their apprentices.

Ministers will now attempt to pass a law that will set out the correct definition of an apprenticeship. In his summer budget, George Osborne pledged that apprenticeships will soon receive the same legal treatment as degrees.

Stewart Segal, AELP chief executive has welcomed the decision to crackdown on bogus apprenticeships, but insists that the majority of placements are ‘‘well regulated.’’

‘‘The regulated programme of Apprenticeships which attracts government support is very well regulated.’’

‘‘Clearly there are some programmes that are delivered outside of this structure and it is this part of the market that needs to be the focus of the consultation.’’

Segal now hopes that apprenticeship providers will operate with caution now the threat is being dealt with.

‘‘We must also avoid over regulation of programmes that are based on an Apprenticeship approach using a combination of on the job experience and off the job training.  AELP will be involved in these discussions so that we strike the right balance.’’

Skills Minister Nick Boles has also commented on the situation, stating that his department will ‘‘leave no stone unturned to promote apprenticeships as a route to a rewarding career.’’

‘‘We don’t want their status to be undermined by those unscrupulously passing off short courses as apprenticeships.’’

‘‘We are inviting employers and apprentices to join us in stamping out abuse of the system.’’