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A guide to apprentice wage recommendations in 2024/25

Apprenticeships are a vital pathway into the workforce, offering a blend of both practical experience and theoretical learning. As an apprenticeship training provider committed to nurturing talent and driving innovation, Access Industry is aware of the importance of fair compensation for apprentices. In this guide, we’re addressing common questions and shedding light on crucial considerations regarding apprenticeship wages. 

 

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How much is an apprentice wage?

One of the primary queries surrounding apprenticeships is wages. In 2024/25, the recommended apprentice wage varies depending on several factors, including age and experience. The government sets a minimum wage for apprentices, ensuring that all apprentices receive fair compensation. 

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Minimum wage for apprentices

The minimum wage for apprentices serves as a baseline, safeguarding against exploitation and ensuring that apprentices receive a reasonable income as they embark on their professional journey. 

Here’s more information about the minimum wage for apprentices in 2024/25:

  • Aged 16 to 18

The current National Minimum Wage rate for an apprentice is £6.40 per hour.

  • Aged 19 or over and in your first year

The current National Minimum Wage rate for an apprentice is £6.40 per hour.

  • Aged 19 or over and have completed the first year

An apprentice is entitled to the National Minimum Wage or National Living Wage rate for their age.

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Do apprentices get paid for college days?

A common misconception is that apprentices do not get paid for college days. This is incorrect, and if an apprentice is contracted to work 5 days per week, and 1 of which is a college day, the apprentice must still be paid as if they were working all 5 days. 

Think of it as an ‘earn while you learn’ approach. As an employer, you are investing in upskilling the apprentice, therefore they still receive their pay as normal on college or training days. It is important to remember that the college days are an essential component of the apprenticeship experience.

 

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Universal credit and apprenticeships

Navigating financial matters can be daunting, especially for apprentices who may be balancing work, study, and living expenses. Universal credit can provide financial support to apprentices, offering assistance with housing costs, childcare, and other essentials. Understanding your eligibility and how universal credit works when it comes to apprenticeships can provide peace of mind during training.

Gov.uk universal credit site

 

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Do apprentices get holiday pay?

Who doesn’t love a holiday? Taking a well-deserved break is essential for maintaining productivity and well-being for us all. Apprentices are no exception, and as per current UK government legislation, apprentices are entitled to a minimum of 20 paid holiday days per year, plus bank holidays. 

Your organisation may want to provide more, depending on your policies and practices. For example, some companies offer wellbeing days, birthdays, and other paid days off, in addition to the minimum number of holiday days. It’s worth considering this to attract high-quality apprenticeship candidates, boost employee morale, and remain competitive as an employer. Your employees will thank you for it, and feel more valued. 

If your apprentice will be starting past your holiday year, their annual leave entitlement will likely be pro-rata. It can be worked out with this holiday entitlement calculator. 

As an apprentice, you should familiarise yourself with your rights regarding holiday entitlement and ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve.

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Do apprentices get sick pay?

Illness can strike at any time, and apprentices are not exempt from occasional bouts of sickness. Understanding whether apprentices are entitled to sick pay is crucial for financial planning. While entitlement to sick pay may vary depending on factors such as terms of the employment contract, many employers offer sick pay as part of their commitment to supporting their staff. Apprentices, just like any other employee, are also entitled to SSP (statutory sick pay). 

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Do all apprentices get the same pay?

Apprentices do not all get the same pay. Firstly, this can often depend on the apprenticeship standard they are working towards. For many employers, the higher the level, the higher the pay will often be. For instance, a Level 5 apprenticeship is likely to pay more than a Level 3.  Other factors such as age, experience, and industry can determine how much an apprentice is paid. There is a minimum wage requirement that employers must pay. This is set by the UK government for apprentices, however to attract the best talent, and support living costs, it’s advisable to pay your apprentice’s fairly.

 

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Can apprentices get a pay rise?

As apprentices gain experience and demonstrate their capabilities, many employers consider increasing their pay, which is permissible. 

The decision to raise an apprentice’s pay will likely depend on your organisation’s policies, performance evaluations, and industry standards. It is the employer’s responsibility to review pay and increase if desired. Open communication with apprentices about career progression and pay is advisable.

Sometimes the need to increase an apprentice’s pay is out of the hands of an employer. This can be due to the UK government increasing the minimum wage each year (typically in April). 

 

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Do apprentices pay tax?

Apprentices, just like other employees, may be liable to pay tax and national insurance contributions. However, apprentices may be eligible for certain tax exemptions or allowances, particularly if their income falls below a certain threshold. For 2024/25, the threshold is £12,570. If an apprentice earns more than this salary per year, an apprentice will pay tax. The amount of tax paid depends on exact pay and can vary.

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Still have questions about apprentice wages?

Do you have other questions regarding apprentice wages? Or even other questions about apprenticeships in general? Book a call with one of our friendly experts at Access Industry who will gladly guide you through the process. 

Last updated on: 7th June 2024