The law takes effect in 2013 after the government has had time to add 90,000 apprenticeships for 16- to 18-year-olds to the current 150,000. Colleges are to make room for another 44,000 students, The Times reported.
The plan calls for recalcitrant teenagers to pay a fine and face further penalties in court if they do not comply with the law.
Geraldine Everett, chairman of the Professional Association of Teachers, has called the law a "potential minefield" that would "compel the disaffected to, in their perception, prolong the agony," The Times reported.
British officials estimate about 10 percent of 16 to 18-year-olds currently are not being educated, employed or trained for work.