Vince Cable: The Apprentice sends out the wrong message

Business secretary Vince Cable fears the TV show gives the wrong idea to would-be apprentices and gives a false impression about what's actually involved.

by Elizabeth Anderson
Last Updated: 14 Oct 2014

Boosting the number of apprentices in the UK is one of the government’s flagship policies. But business secretary Vince Cable is concerned that TV shows like the BBC’s The Apprentice could send out the wrong message to apprentices in the real world, whose experience of working life is likely to be more mundane.

‘I know that The Apprentice is designed to be dramatic television viewing but it has very little to do with apprentices – people who are doing a serious piece of vocational training,’ said Cable in the Telegraph.

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills is trying to increase the number of apprenticeships and wants to promote them to people put off by high university tuition fees. The government hopes that the number of people completing an apprenticeship will nearly double from the current 260,000 this year to 480,000 by 2022.

But despite having reservations about The Apprentice, Cable, who once appeared on the BBC show Strictly Come Dancing, admits to being a fan of BBC 2 rival Dragons’ Den. The panel are ‘genuinely inspirational figures,’ he said, who have ‘a much more realistic way of assessing the potential of small businesses.’

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