A move to outlaw inadequate training courses and apprenticeships that leave students without the proper qualifications has been supported by a Milton Keynes-based electrical contractor.

The Department for Business, Innovation & Skills has indicated that in the future, anyone offering fake or low-quality apprenticeships training could face the possibility of a fine and prosecution in a Magistrates Court.

The government says it is committed to giving apprenticeships similar controls to university degrees.

"Everyone knows what a university degree means," said Skills Minister Nick Boles.

"It's an official title. Young people doing apprenticeships should get the same level of distinction."

Mr Boles made the comments after the government published the Enterprise Bill, which will define the term “apprenticeship” in law, on 21 September. It proposes making it a criminal offence to use the term ‘apprenticeship’ when it is not legally correspond to the definition.

The government's consultation on protecting the term, which ran in August, received about 90 responses. Two-fifths said they were aware of its misuse.

Ruth Devine, director at SJD Electrical, an electrical contractor operating in the Milton Keynes and Buckinghamshire area, said a number of applicants to the company who thought they had completed apprenticeships had discovered to their surprise that the qualifications did not mean they were fully qualified.

“Protecting the term ‘apprenticeship’ will help us attract the most able individuals and offer a guarantee to apprentices that they will receive world-class training,” she said.

“Low quality training courses contribute to the many instances of poor workmanship we come across.”

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