A compulsory minimum level of vocational qualifications is unlikely to lead to improved standards in skilled professions, employment consultants Croner have warned.
The comments follow calls by City & Guilds for industries such as plumbing, electrical engineering, and caring to become licensed.
The training body also reco mmended compulsory reporting of training spend among publicly listed firms.
However, Croner said it thought vocational qualifications were not a full indication of employees' abilities, failing to take into account experience and aptitude for the job.
Nasar Farooq, health and safety technical manager at Croner, said: "We hear scarestories of industry 'cowboys', for example on programmes such as Watchdog, but the fact is that these are the exception, rather than the rule.
"Most sectors are already regulated adequately by, for example, Corgi, the watchdog for gas safety, and employers are generally well aware of their obligations under health and safety law to employ competent persons, whether as employees or contractors.
"While we support training and education, it is unrealistic to equate an imposed minimum level of vocational qualifications to improve industry standards. There is no fail-safe approach and employers should encourage best practice through recruiting competent workers, complying with industry regulation and providing on the job training.
"Vocational courses may also be part of their overall training programme.
"Employers shouldn't be misled that an increased quota of employees with vocational qualifications, or simply increasing training spend is the answer to improving industry standards.
"Our advice would be that while recognised qualifications, such as City & Guilds, can only be a good thing, they form part of a bigger picture which also includes on-the-job training and experience." n Small businesses worried about the risk of a tribunal are being invited to a free workshop on employment law.
The Human Resources Initiative workshop is taking place next Tuesday. Run by Solihull-based financial consultants Cognitor, the session will include a guide to the legislation changes and an insight into how a tribunal operates.