twitter   facebook   facebook
← Overview Database of Innovative Social Policies in Europe

New standards for apprenticeships

Country of implementation
General short description of the innovation
In August 2012, new standards for apprenticeships came into force, including a minimum duration of 12 months. For those aged 19 and over, apprenticeships will last between one to four years unless prior learning or attainment has been undertaken. / / This legislative change in labour market regulation builds upon a series of major reforms announced in 2012 to drive up quality and standards and ensure every apprenticeship meets the rigorous standards apprentices and employers expect. These include: / - The withdrawal of inadequate sub-contracted provision / - New safeguards to strengthen monitoring, reporting and sub-contracting arrangements, including requiring sub-contractors to be regulated through the Register of Training Organisations in the same way as prime contractors / - New contracts will ensure that training providers not only act according to regulations, but also within the spirit of the apprenticeship programme / - A new ?enquiry panel? has been established, reporting directly to the Minister, to manage poor quality providers as soon as they are reported. / / In October 2012, the Coalition government revealed plans to put apprenticeship design in the hands of employers, accompanied by a set of criteria that all new apprenticeship standards will need to meet. Trailblazers in a range of sectors will develop new apprenticeship standards and the high-level assessment approaches. Full implementation of the reforms will occur during 2015/2016 and 2016/2017. The reformed apprenticeships will be: / - employer-led and designed so they respond to the needs of industry, meaning each apprentice has the skills required by the sector / - focused on quality so the apprentice has to demonstrate their ability through rigorous assessment at the end of their apprenticeship / - graded on completion ? pass, merit, or distinction ? to mark the level of achievement
Target group
Policy Field
  • employment
Type of Policy
  • public
Duration of the policy
Since 2012
Scope of innovation
  • Scope: structural
  • Spatial coverage: national with regional specifications for England, Wales etc.
General description of (intended) objectives and strategies
Identify and root out any instances of poor quality provision, and raise the bar on standards.
Type of innovation
  • new policy, practice or measure
New outputs
  • regulations of the labour market
Intended target group
apprentices (mainly young people)
Working age population
  • main source of income: paid work
Actors involved in policy-making/implementation and/or evaluation
  • central state
Intended output
  • regulation of the labour market
Clarification of outcomes in terms of impacting resilience and labour market inclusion
Improve the minimum standards for apprenticeships including their duration and enforcement rules. This should also make apprenticeships a more attractive alternative to the traditional higher education route with the ultimate aim to provide more and better entry routes into employment for young people.
Share this page: