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Posted 30 March 2017
by Stephen Jennings

New Offence Relating to Apprenticeships

On 1 April 2017 a new offence of wrongly advertising work as a statutory apprenticeship comes into force.

This amendment to the Enterprise Act 2016 will make it an offence for a person providing a course or training in England to call it an apprenticeship unless it is a statutory apprenticeship. The purpose of this legislation is to protect the term ‘apprenticeship’ from misuse and to avoid damaging the reputation of apprenticeship schemes by ensuring that low quality training courses that do not meet the requirements of statutory apprenticeships are unable to use the term.

A statutory apprenticeship is an apprenticeship under the Apprenticeship, Skills, Children and Learning Act 2009 (ASCLA 2009). There are two types of statutory apprenticeships:

  1. Approved English Apprenticeship Agreements – apprenticeships in sectors for which the Secretary of State has published approved apprenticeship standards and which complies with those standards;
  2. Apprenticeship Agreements – where there is no approved apprenticeship standard but there is an apprenticeship agreement that complies with an “apprenticeship framework” (qualifying training programme).

If you currently offer a training course or scheme that does not comply with either of the above standards then you will be unable to label it an ‘apprenticeship’. If you do so from 1 April 2017 you could face a fine.

In light of these changes to the legislation it is recommended that you review your current apprenticeship training programmes and courses to ensure that you are satisfied these fall within one of the two statutory apprenticeships outlined above.

For further advice in relation to apprentices and apprenticeship agreements contact our specialist employment team on 01392 207020 or e-mail

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About the author

Stephen Jennings

Partner and Solicitor

Partner in the litigation department specialising in employment law, he is the relationship manager for many of the firm's employment clients