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Key Points

  • A traditional contract of apprenticeship is included in the statutory definition of a contract of employment (see ERA 1996 s.230) but at common law an apprentice is not just an employee
  • An official review of apprenticeships started in 2007. The review led to the passing on 13th November 2009 of the Apprenticeships, Skills, Children and Learning Act 2009 
  • From 6th April 2011 an apprentice was treated "for the purposes of any enactment or rule of law" as being an employee provided he or she is working under an "apprenticeship agreement" as defined under the Act
  • An EU "Leonardo programme" supports the development of skills and training including Apprenticeships
  • In 2012 The Richard Review recommended that the quality of apprenticeships be improved and that they be more focused on the needs of employers
  • As a result, from 26 May 2015 approved English apprenticeships began to replace apprenticeships under the Apprenticeships, Skills and Learning Act 2009 in England (but not Wales) 
  • Approved English apprenticeships are also contracts of service and are based on industry apprenticeship 'standards'      



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