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Businesses The Almighty Buck

Firms Relabelling Low-Skilled Jobs As Apprenticeships, Says Report ( 58

Fast food giants, coffee shops and retailers are relabelling low-skilled jobs as apprenticeships and gaining subsidies for training, a report says. BBC: The study by centre-right think tank Reform says many firms have rebranded existing roles after being obliged to contribute cash to on-the-job training. It adds that 40% of government-approved apprenticeship standards do not meet a traditional definition of them. The government says "quality" is at the heart of its apprenticeship reforms. As part of the changes, it introduced an apprenticeship levy on organisations paying more than $4.3m in salaries a year. They have to pay 0.5% of their wages total into a "digital account" held by HMRC. They then "spend" these contributions on apprenticeship training delivered by registered providers. They can also get back up to 90% of the cost of training. But they are also entitled to pay apprentices lower than the standard minimum wage.

Firms Relabelling Low-Skilled Jobs As Apprenticeships, Says Report

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  • by DatbeDank ( 4580343 ) on Saturday April 14, 2018 @03:11AM (#56435669)

    If this article didn't make sense, here's why: In America, apprenticeships are generally the realm of blue collar trades.

    In the UK, this is true, however they also broadly include it to also mean "paid internship for office jobs".

    Why? Probably the same reason a boot is a trunk, the letter U is sprinkled everywhere, and beer is served at room temp (not bad) /Giorgio A. Tsoukalos meme hands saying "England".

    This isn't a problem in America because of the word apprenticeship's association with blue collarwork.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      I hire a high school student to mow my lawn

      I hire another high school student to babysit my children

      Where and how to apply for government subsidies for both of my apprentices?

      • by Anonymous Coward

        I hire a high school student to mow my lawn

        I hire another high school student to babysit my children

        Where and how to apply for government subsidies for both of my apprentices?


        In your application for government subsidies, do identify the person who mow your lawn as "Botanic Lifecycle Specialist" and the one who takes care of your children as "Child Development Specialist"

        That way you can claim big subsidies from the government

    • Fact of life: People will do what you pay them to do, not what you think you are paying them to do.

      When I was a kid, my dad offered to pay me 2 cents for every dandylion I removed from the lawn. So I gathered plenty of dandylion seeds and scattered them on the lawn.

    • by bugs2squash ( 1132591 ) on Saturday April 14, 2018 @04:21AM (#56435765)

      The term apprenticeship carries with it the connotation of being a structured hands-on learning period after which the former apprentice could expect to enter a well paying trade, like plumber or electrician. An alternative to a university degree, but usually accompanied by some kind of community-college style education.

      This sounds to me like a once proud word being stripped of its value to defraud the young and make the government look like they are training the next generation. Who can blame businesses for taking advantage of the process, this would never happen in Germany

      • Except it does happen in Germany. Apprentices and vocational students are often enough used like cheap (and ultimately disposable) workers with the companies providing only as much training as absolutely necessary.

        We Germans all too happily adopt bad American habits.

        • by Mashiki ( 184564 )

          Are apprenticeships not regulated in Germany? In North America, apprenticeships are regulated either by the province, or the state. The definition of "what is an apprenticeship" is clear as well, you can't go making up new definition of it because apprenticeships themselves have very specific rules and laws regarding it. Sure, you can get away paying an apprentice $2.20/hr(rate I was paid back in the 90's) when the min. wage was $6.85. That's 100% legal, but those hours I worked were also transferable to

      • Boy, Germans looking down on the English for once instead of the Americans. This seems weird! I'm used to being the target of your hate, seeing someone else take the abuse is so unexpected. Is there anyone the Germans don't look down on, besides fellow developed First World countries? Obviously shithole countries can do no wrong and would never be criticized.
      • Who can blame businesses for taking advantage of the process, this would never happen in Germany

        That's what they said about cheating on emissions tests.

        • Not, of course, the same thing. The emissions test scandal was blatantly breaking the law and lying about it. This is following the law, just not in the way the lawmakers anticipated. Not really the companies' fault that they wrote a stupid law, and you certainly can't prosecute them for it.

        • Germany structured it's corporate law to require that the corporate boards INCLUDE labor. The very definition and function of corporations are done by government; you can do it foolishly or smart... So, NO it would not happen in Germany because labor has a real voice in management.

          Emissions is another whole issue and one where labor is aligned with management. A solution on this one could be to have a government official on the board... except that could be a nightmare in so many ways... but you could RE

      • by JustNiz ( 692889 )

        > this would never happen in Germany

        except it absolutely does. For example you can't just call yourself an engineer in Germany, its a title you have to "earn" by paying for accreditation.

    • Apprenticeship is probably more associated with a trade or craft skill. I suppose these have traditionally been associated with 'blue collar' work, but not necessarily.

      My company works in IT, and we have trained a number of apprentices over the years, most of whom did very well. This was more than just intern-ship - the training that they underwent was quite intensive and rigorous. But then, I've often thought of Software Development (for instance) as a craft skill.

      As to white collar apprentices, wasn
    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      It's just another employment scam. The government puts immense pressure on young people to do work, any work, and people take advantage of that with fake jobs.

    • This is a new use of language even in the UK though. Historically, we had "articled clerkships" for (professional) office jobs, and apprenticeships for trades. That use of language probably disappeared in the 1970s or 80s and it seems everyone has forgotten it.
  • Serfdom. Maybe the "Firms" could just provide a nice thatched hut and some gruel as pay... /s

  • Law passed that charges companies money if they don't have enough jobs called "apprenticeships". Companies respond by retitling arbitrary jobs "apprenticeships". How surprising.

  • by wonkavader ( 605434 ) on Saturday April 14, 2018 @10:02AM (#56436409)

    This is old enough news that the backlash against this has already hit print media.

    The Guardian print version is here: []
    Or if you prefer the same content as a podcast, it's here: []

    Since this is England, the whole thing directly relates to class. Upper-class (or perhaps the Brits call that 'Middle-class') jobs essentially require a an internship now before you can get a real job. Finishing an internship means being able to afford to live with no paycheck in London for six months. This means only the wealthy can afford to have an internship. This locks the educated non-wealthy out of the higher-class professions.

    So this is not about serfdom -- a path with no escape. It's about making people pay for jobs. You have to BUY your job. (LIke you'd BUY a commission in the army in a Jane Austin novel.) And if you cannot afford to buy your job, you're the wrong sort of person for work here anyhow. Nudge nudge wink wink.

    • I wish I had moderator points to mod you up... It's true- if you have a lot of money you can sit out an unpaid/underpaid internship at a desirable company whereas most stiffs take whatever they can get...

    • Also, I'd like to add that these jobs, once you have one, more frequently pay only enough to keep you reliant on said job and not one penny more.
    • I read that article when it came out, but it seems to be missing the root cause of the problem: oversupply of workers in certain industries. Why are people being steered towards qualifications for careers for which the supply massively outstrips the demand? My students typically find summer placements working in technology companies where they're typically paid a salary of around £45K/year pro-rated for the term of the internship (usually 2-3 months). A few weeks ago I was at a dinner sitting with

  • As most people will notice, except regulators it seems, this is a scam to pay below the already pitiful minimum wage. Jobs that take 6 hours to learn should not be permitted to misuse apprenticeships. There is a place for white-collar apprenticeships but only for developing staff at a fair price.

Civilization, as we know it, will end sometime this evening. See SYSNOTE tomorrow for more information.