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What Are the Financial Benefits of Apprenticeships

Money, money, money. It goes through everyone's head! So why should you do an apprenticeship?

There are a huge number of benefits of apprenticeships. But one of the most important benefits is the fact that apprentices are paid – this immediately makes a big difference from those going to university. This ‘earn while you learn’ prospect gives every apprentice a different approach to their work as an employee not just as a learner. With an apprenticeship, you are entitled to a salary just like any other employee of a company.

The current minimum wage for apprentices is £3.50 per hour (April 2017), this rate is for apprentices aged 16 to 18 and those aged 19 or over who are in their first year of their apprenticeship. All other apprentices are entitled to the National Minimum Wage for their age. Don't forget this is the absolute minimum that employers can give you, most employers pay £150 to £200 per week! That’s a lot more money, especially considering all training is free to you!  This wage then gives you opportunities to go enjoy yourself or put it away and save for something bigger, like a holiday or even a car!

What are your apprenticeship options vs ‘standard’ path to work?

Research shows your earnings increase inline with your current level of academic qualifications. Compared to someone without any qualifications:

  • An apprentice gains on-the-job skills and training while earning a living wage
  • A third of apprentices get a promotion within a year of finishing their apprenticeship
  • Compared to someone going to university, apprentices can earn £150,000 more than their peers over the duration of their working lives, without an apprenticeship (Source: UCAS) 

Apprentices – work paths of the future

An apprenticeship provides you with the ability to look into the future in terms of where you’ll be financially. The majority of apprentices do stay with the same employer, and while there’s no guarantee you’ll be kept on, apprentices often go on to work their way up the corporate ladder with further training and promotions. According to research by the National Apprenticeship Service, 85% of apprentices will stay in employment, with two-thirds (64%) staying with the same employer. 

You can use your apprenticeship as a platform to get into ‘bigger and better’ corporations - the experience you gain allows you to look at other companies to join, companies are after ambitious people with goals to achieve great things after their apprenticeship. At the end of the day, the apprenticeship you are doing is clearly something you want to pursue in terms of a career and being good in a particular field will certainly get you more money as you hone your skills. 

What do interest rates at the moment mean for university students?

If you’re a university student with a student loan, then the news that interest rates rising due to Inflation is unwelcome. Since the Brexit vote, the interest rates on student loans have increased dramatically to 6.1%. Effectively meaning that students are paying even more for going to university. It goes without saying that compared to a university course an apprenticeship is extremely attractive solely on the financial benefits.

At university, you are guaranteed to pay out over £9,000 per year (if not more) depending on the course. You may turn around and say ‘Well… I get a degree at the end of my course.’ You’d be right, however, there is such a thing as a degree apprenticeship. This is where you are employed for three to six years, work as normal in a company but you are studying for a degree at the same time. And the great thing is that the company pay for/ sponsor your degree, what could be better?! 



  • Author: Calum Brown
  • Published On: 02/05/2017


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