A recent report, released by think tank Reform, says that companies from fast food giants, coffee shops and retailers are offering low-skill jobs as apprenticeships. The study found 40% of the apprenticeship standards do not meet the traditional definition of such skilled on-the-job training.

The lure of apprenticeships has always been to learn whilst being paid. But, the current ones on offer apparently just ‘low-quality, low-skill and often low-wage roles’ according to the report. In 2013, the government said apprenticeships had to be skilled ones, requiring training of a high standard for at least 12 months. They should then lead into transferable skills or a job in the relevant sector.

An example of apprenticeships gone wrong includes a recent listing for a KFC position, titled ‘hospitality team member’. The description of the role states the apprenticeship is ‘a structured, learner and employer focused development programme.

But the role is also described as cooking fries and serving customers at the tills, which isn’t exactly a highly skilled job.

Starbucks is also under the microscope, as it too advertises a hospitality team member position, as a barista apprentice. The online chat rooms show, however, that it appears people are trained for the first few weeks, then put to work.

Apprenticeships were also a way for companies to get away with cheap, temporary labour, however, the government introduced laws to stop larger organisations from taking advantage of younger people looking for work.