The agreement is one of two documents that all interns must sign before the program begins. The other required document is called the Declaration of Learning Commitment, which is an agreement between the apprentice, the employer and the training provider. Both documents are usually signed during learning. Under the law, an «authorized English apprenticeship contract» is considered a service contract that gives the apprentice only the legal protection enjoyed by ordinary workers. The rights of an apprentice under an apprenticeship contract were discussed above. When an apprentice is employed on an apprenticeship contract, he has the rights of ordinary workers and, in the event of dismissal, standard redundancy rules are at stake. Traditionally, apprenticeship contracts were a heavier burden on the employer than a regular employment contract, as the primary purpose of apprenticeship was considered to be an offer of training for the individual, as the exercise of work was a secondary consideration for the employer. These contracts were governed by the common law and were generally temporary. The apprentice was protected from premature termination of the apprenticeship contract, which often prevented employers from committing to such an agreement, especially in times of economic hardship. It does not need to be written, although it is a good idea for employers to get the contract in writing, so that everyone has a reference point in case of litigation. The words «apprenticeship» do not even need to appear in the contract. These have only been with us since the Learning, Skills, Children and Learning Act 2009. Section 32 of the Act defines what an apprenticeship contract is and Section 37 defines the obligation to participate.
Starting in May 2015, the 2015 Deregulation Act amended the Apprenticeships, Skills, Children and Learning Act 2009 to introduce the idea of an «approved English apprenticeship contract.» One condition to remember is that an apprenticeship contract be entered into as part of a qualified learning framework.