From education to employment

Government kick-starts plans to reach 3 million apprenticeships

Skills Minister Nick Boles

The term ‘apprenticeship’ will be protected in law, the government has announced today (14 June 2015). This will strengthen their reputation, help working people and ensure apprenticeships are recognised as a career path equal to higher education.

With over 2.2 million apprenticeships created since 2010 to help establish the UK as the fastest growing economy in the G7, the government will also enshrine in law its commitment to create 3 million apprenticeships by 2020.

With apprenticeships giving hope and opportunity to more young people, and helping all types and sizes of businesses grow in communities across the UK, the Skills Minister will legally protect the term ‘apprenticeship’ through the Enterprise Bill. This will give government the power to take action when the term is misused to promote low quality courses.

To ensure that more young people can benefit the minister has also announced that public bodies will now be set targets to take on more apprentices. Schools, hospitals, prisons and police forces will all be creating opportunities for young people to get on.

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.

Apprenticeships give young people the security of a pay packet and dignity of a recognised qualification and the millions of apprentices being supported will help carry the UK economy forward.

Employers are already key to developing the skills the country needs. With more than 1,200 employers in over 100 sectors are already involved in the Trailblazer programme.

The Enterprise Bill will create jobs and offer hardworking people opportunity at every stage of their lives – it is part of the government’s long-term economic plan to build a better and brighter future for Britain.

The Bill will be introduced to Parliament in the Autumn and the exact requirement on individual public bodies will be set out to a longer timescale.


  • the Civil Service and Public Bodies employ over half a million people
  • there have been more than 2.2 million apprenticeship starts since May 2010
  • apprenticeships are proven to increase the earnings of those who undertake them
  • 7 out of 10 employers found apprenticeships useful to their business
  • from accountancy to engineering to TV production, apprenticeships are giving people the skills they need to get on
  • apprenticeships are available at some of our best companies, large and small – like Google, ITV, Sky, IBM and BAE Systems
  • apprenticeships are available right up to degree level
  • Jamie Oliver, Karen Millen, Stella McCartney, and Ross Brawn all started their careers as apprentices

Enterprise Bill

The Enterprise Bill was announced in the Queen’s speech on 27 May 2015.

It includes measures to:

  • progress the government’s commitment to cut red tape and save business at least £10 billion over this Parliament
  • create a Small Business Conciliation Service to help resolve disputes between businesses, especially over late payment
  • improve the business rates system, including by modernising the appeals system
  • end 6 figure payoffs for the best paid public sector workers

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