AELP statement on legal protection of the term ‘Apprenticeship’
BIS has published a consultation paper on a proposed measure in the Enterprise Bill which will ban the misuse of the term Apprenticeship
Link to the consultation: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/protecting-the-term-apprenticeship
The government is concerned that there may be a temptation for the term ‘apprenticeship’ to be applied to lower-quality courses that do not meet the high standards of statutory apprenticeships in an effort to make them more attractive to employers or learners. The legal measure would prohibit training providers using the term ‘apprenticeship’ or ‘apprentice’ in relation to any course or training in England unless it is a statutory apprenticeship. Although the consultation refers to a ‘light touch’ enforcement, non-compliance could lead to a magistrates court appearance and possible fine.
The document states, “Training providers are critical to delivering high quality apprenticeships and the vast majority are successful in delivering excellent training. This legislation will not have an impact on the vast majority who will be compliant with it. The aim of this legislation is to affect the behaviour of some providers at the margins which detract from the overall positive picture.”
AELP will be responding to the BIS consultation (the deadline for responses is 19 August) and in the meantime, AELP CEO Stewart Segal has made the following comments:
“There are already a range of controls over the use of the term Apprenticeship but we would support anything that clarified what an Apprenticeship is. However we would not want to see any unnecessary bureaucracy caused by a new Act when the paper accepts that the vast majority of apprenticeships are delivered within the current statutory controls. It is good that the paper recognises ‘training providers are critical to the delivery of high quality Apprenticeships’ and therefore the legislation is only concerned with a very few specific cases.
“Some employers deliver high quality schemes which are not funded by government but follow the guidelines of an Apprenticeship. There is some confusion in the paper as to whether this legislation will apply to these schemes. We have to ensure that we avoid any confusion so that the statutory Apprenticeships are clearly defined.”