Quick meals giants, espresso outlets and retailers are relabelling low-skilled jobs as apprenticeships, a report says.
The research by assume tank Reform says many companies have rebranded present roles after being obliged to contribute money to on-the-job coaching.
The research says 40% of the apprenticeship requirements authorized don’t meet conventional definition of such expert on-the-job coaching programs.
The federal government says “high quality” is on the coronary heart of its apprenticeship reforms.
As a part of the modifications, it launched an apprenticeship levy on organisations paying greater than £3m in salaries a yr.
They need to pay zero.5% of their wages whole right into a “digital account” held by HMRC.
They then “spend” these contributions on apprenticeship coaching delivered by registered suppliers. They will additionally get again as much as 90% of the price of coaching.
The report says: “As a part of the federal government’s wider bundle of reforms to apprenticeships, teams of employers got here collectively to jot down the brand new ‘apprenticeship requirements’.
“Some used this chance to generate high-quality requirements, however others look like merely rebadging low-quality, low-skill and infrequently low-wage roles as ‘apprenticeships’ as a substitute.”
In 2013, the federal government stated apprenticeships needed to be expert roles, requiring substantial and sustained coaching of a minimum of 12 months, resulting in full competency and may present the apprentice with transferrable expertise in an occupation.
However a fast look on the authorities’s official apprenticeships web site reveals many excessive road companies promoting for apprentices in what look like unskilled roles.
For instance, KFC is promoting for an apprentice hospitality crew member.
The advert describes the apprenticeship as “a structured, learner and employer-focused growth programme designed to create alternatives for lifelong information, expertise and behaviours”.
However the function is described as cooking “fries” and different merchandise and serving clients entrance of home, or cooking and assembling KFC merchandise, whereas sustaining clear, sanitary working situations.
It says coaching relies round day-to-day duties, however may even contain one-to-one interactions with a specialised coach each 4 to 6 weeks.
KFC stated the apprenticeship existed earlier than the levy was launched and met all the important thing requirements, and that the agency paid greater than the minimal apprenticeship charges.
Espresso large Starbucks is promoting for hospitality crew member barista apprentices on the official web site to make and serve espresso in its branches.
However from on-line chat rooms it seems that folks normally get skilled for a few weeks earlier than starting work.
Starbucks is but to answer the BBC’s request for a remark.
Tom Richmond, senior analysis fellow at Reform, stated service sector apprenticeships may very well be of top of the range, however many of those being authorized didn’t match the standard or worldwide definition of an apprenticeship.
He in contrast British apprenticeship requirements with these for the hospitality sector in Germany which, he stated, cowl a wider vary of expertise and competencies.
A Division for Training spokeswoman stated it needed to see folks of all ages and backgrounds getting the wonderful coaching they want to achieve a variety of jobs, and that this was why it was altering the apprenticeship system.
She added: “Our reforms have basically modified what apprenticeships are, as we made it a requirement that every one apprenticeships should be actual paid jobs lasting for no less than 12 months, with a minimum of 20% off-the-job coaching.
“High quality is on the coronary heart of our reforms, and the apprenticeship levy is a vital a part of that – creating sustainable funding in expertise coaching.
“We’re happy to see a rise in folks beginning our new, higher-quality apprenticeship requirements in an entire vary of industries from nuclear to vogue, legislation, banking and defence.
“These apprenticeships are designed by employers themselves, to offer folks and companies the talents they actually need.”