As an apprentice, you’ll be paid a salary which may vary depending on the level of apprenticeship you choose, your employer and industry that you work in. However, one thing that is guaranteed is you’ll be paid at least National Apprentice Minimum Wage.
National Minimum Wage is a legal requirement that companies need to abide by and sets out the amount that an employer will pay you, per hour.
There are three types of Minimum Wage:
The actual wages for the above usually increase every April.
Any employer not paying the minimum wage can be fined by the UK tax authority, HMRC.
Don’t forget, as an Apprentice, you will also be paid for the 20% of your time that you spend working towards your apprenticeship qualification.
How much is National Minimum Wage?
The apprentice rate applies to people aged under 19, or people over 19 but in the first year of their apprenticeship. To work out how much you're going to be paid, you can do a simple maths calculation:
Your Hourly Rate (or Minimum Wage) x How many hours you have worked = How much money you should be paid (minus potential taxes etc)
£4.30 x 35 hours worked in a week = £150.50 per week (minus potential taxes)
You may also have to pay things like tax, National Insurance, Student Loans and pensions which will come out of the money you should be paid.
What is Apprentice National Minimum Wage 2021?
Apprentice minimum wage is one of the more difficult minimum wages to understand. Essentially, the apprentice rate applied to people over 19 but in the first year of their apprenticeship and all apprentices under the age of 19. When you’re over the age of 19 and past your first year in your apprenticeship, you’ll be entitled to National Minimum Wage for your age group.
For example, an apprentice in the first year of an apprenticeship is entitled to a minimum hourly rate of £4.30, no matter if they’re 16, 18, 43 or 72.
After the first year, you’ll be entitled to the Minimum Wage for your age group. That means an apprentice aged 22 who has completed the first year of their apprenticeship is entitled to a minimum hourly rate of £8.36, meanwhile if you’re only 17 you’ll be entitled to £4.30.
We’ve put it in this table to help you understand what you’ll be paid:
Many apprentices pay much more than minimum wage – we’ve seen apprenticeship wages as high as £36,000 in the past! Don’t mind if we do!
Who gets National Minimum Wage?
People must be of at 16 to be eligible for the minimum wage and must be employed. You could be a part-time worker, casual, agency worker, apprentices, trainees, workers on probation, disabled workers, agricultural workers, foreign workers, seafarers or offshore workers, according to government guidance.
People who don't qualify for minimum wage include the self-employed, company directors, volunteers, members of the armed forces, prisoners and people living and working in a religious community.
Students on work placements of less than a year as a required part of their studies are not entitled to be paid anything.
If you believe you are being underpaid based on your age or as an Apprentice, you can find more advice at Citizens Advice.
If you are an Apprentice and have a concern about apprentice minimum wage, we recommend speaking to both your line manager and your training provider, college or University.
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