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Apprenticeship term now protected by law to create future Jamie Olivers and Stella McCartneys

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If the term is “misused” to promote low quality courses, the government will now have the power to act against institutions doing so. The new legislation will see apprenticeships given equal legal treatment as degrees, and in doing so encourage more young people to consider it as a training and career route – following in the footsteps of chef Jamie Oliver, fashion designers Karen Millen and Stella McCartney and Formula 1 team principal Ross Brawn

The move is part of the prime minister’s pledge to create three million apprenticeships by 2020, with 2.2 million having been established since he first came into power with a coalition in 2010.

Skills minister Nick Boles commented: “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 practice what were preach in government, so we’re going to require all public sector bodies – schools, hospitals, prisons and police forces – to employ apprentices.”

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The Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Bill, formally unveiled during the Queen’s speech on 27 May, set out protections for the future of apprenticeships in the UK. Central to the government’s future plans are its Trailblazer programme, which has so far engaged with 1,200 employers in 100 sectors. Businesses such as Google, Sky and BAE Systems have created higher level apprenticeship programmes.

During the last Budget of the former government, chancellor George Osborne unveiled a 20 per cent pay rise for apprentices. At the end of National Apprenticeship week 2015 in March, the likes of Microsoft, Halfords and British Airways came together to pledge an additional 23,000 training roles.

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