Apprenticeships tend to come with the tagline ‘earn while you learn’ but young people often know little beyond that catchy phrase. When a young person asks you about an apprenticeship, it is likely a major consideration for them will be financial. They will want to know how much they will get paid; whether they will have to pay any course fees; and, whether they will be able to live off the money they make doing an apprenticeship.

Below is information to give you an insight into the financial side of an apprenticeship and some of the benefits available so that you can support your young people in making the best choices for them.

What is the pay for an apprentice?

There are different rates of pay depending on the apprentice’s age, the year of their apprenticeship they are in, and the level of apprenticeship they are working towards. The National Minimum Wage for an Apprentice is £5.28 (from April 2023) for under 19-year-olds. Employers often pay above the NMW, and they will continue to pay that rate for the remainder of the training. If the apprentice is over the age of 19 and have completed the first year of their apprenticeship, they will be entitled to the National Living wage (which is set dependent on age).

20% of normal working hours will be spent on training. This may be done weekly or in a block. Either way, the apprentice will get paid their normal wage for this time as well as their ‘working’ time.

Are there any course fees when completing an apprenticeship?

No. Apprenticeship training is fully funded by the employer and/or the government.

Are bursaries available?

If the young person you are working with has been in local authority care and they are under 25, their training provider can support them to access a £1000 bursary from the government when they start an apprenticeship. This money is to support them in their role and they will not be required to pay it back.

Do employers offer any other benefits?

Employers will give apprentices a contract at the start of their apprenticeship stating how much holiday entitlement, sickness and other benefits, such as travel expenses, company car and electronic devices they will receive. Some employers help to pay for driving lessons if the role requires the apprentice to drive a vehicle.

Apprentices are also able to buy an NUS Apprentice card which will give you a number of discounts from everyday shopping to days out.

What help is available if the young person is concerned about their finances?

Advise them that, if they are ever concerned about their finances, their training provider will be able to give them guidance on any funding that might be suitable for them. Some companies have a pastoral carer for their apprentices who offer support and guidance to individuals throughout their apprenticeships.

Apprentice support centre – information about support for apprentices

Amazing apprenticeships – everything you need to know about apprenticeships.