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Overview of Pay and Conditions for Apprentices

Apprenticeships combine practical training in a job with study.

As an apprentice you will:

  • work alongside experienced staff
  • gain job-specific skills
  • earn a wage and get holiday pay
  • study towards a related qualification (usually one day a week)


Levels of Apprenticeship

Apprenticeships have equivalent educational levels.

Name                           Level                           Equivalent educational level

Intermediate                   2                               5 GCSE passes at grades A* to C

Advanced                         3                                             2 A Level passes                        

Higher                    4, 5, 6, and 7                      Foundation degree and above

Degree                         6 and 7                            Bachelor or masters degree


Who can Apply

You can apply for an apprenticeship while you are still in school. To start one, you will need to be:

  • 16 or over
  • living in England
  • not in full-time education


Pay and Conditions

Apprentices are paid from the first day of their apprenticeship and they’re entitled to the National Minimum Wage.

The current minimum wage rate for an apprentice is £3.30 per hour. This rate applies to apprentices under 19 and those aged 19 or over who are in their first year.

Apprentices aged 19 or over who have completed their first year must be paid at least the minimum wage rate for their age.


Year                              25 and over          21 to 24          18 to 20          Under 18          Apprentice*

2016 (current rate)         £7.20                     £6.70                £5.30                 £3.87                   £3.30

*This rate is for apprentices aged 16 to 18 and those aged 19 or over who are in their first year. All other apprentices are entitled to the National Minimum Wage for their age.

National Minimum Wage rates change every October. National Living Wage rates change every April.


Hours Apprentices are Paid For

You must be paid for:

  • your normal working hours (minimum 30 hours per week)
  • training that is part of your apprenticeship (usually one day per week)



Apprentices get at least 20 days of paid holiday per year, plus bank holidays.