The term “apprenticeship” will be protected in law, the government has announced.
This will aim to strengthen their reputation, help working people and ensure apprenticeships are recognised as a career path equal to higher education.
This will give it the power to take action when the term is misused to promote low quality courses.
The government will also enshrine in law its commitment to create three million apprenticeships by 2020.
To ensure that more young people can benefit, skills minister Nick Boles has also announced that public bodies will now be set targets to take on more apprentices.
Schools, hospitals, prisons and police forces should all be creating opportunities for young people to get on the career ladder.
Mr 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.”