Soft apprenticeships such as coffee-making are devaluing the brand according to Ofsted.
The government has committed to delivering three million apprenticeships in the next five years, but Ofsted chief inspector Michael Wilshaw said that low level apprenticeships risked undermining genuine programmes.
In a report to be launched this week Ofsted will suggest that apprenticeship providers should be held to account, with some providing courses that don't make plain to students that they are undertaking apprenticeships.
Skills minister Nick Boles told the BBC: "Putting an end to poor quality apprenticeship training lies at the heart of our reforms of apprenticeships.
"Ofsted's report backs up the findings of our 2012 review and provides further evidence for our decision to put employers rather than training providers in the driving seat."
To ensure apprenticeships provide sufficient training in future, performance tables are planned for 2018, while legislation is to be introduced to protect the term against misuse.
When he launches the Ofsted report on Thursday, Wilshaw is expected to say that public money is being wasted on training in skills that workers are already practised in, with too few apprenticeships delivering skills in the areas most needed.
Boles added: "We are absolutely committed to creating three million high quality apprenticeships by 2020 including many more at degree level, because apprenticeships can change the lives of young people and open the door to a good job and a rewarding career."