Apprenticeship pay and conditions

As an apprentice you have the same rights as other employees. There are laws in place to ensure apprentices are paid a decent wage and aren’t made to work too many hours.

The terms and conditions of your apprenticeship will be laid out in a document called an apprenticeship agreement which you will have to sign before starting the job.

Apprentices are entitled to the same conditions as other employees in a similar role or grade. These include:

  • A minimum wage
  • Paid holidays
  • Sick pay
  • Other benefits such as childcare voucher schemes

Minimum wage

Each year the government specifies a minimum rate of pay that employers must pay their staff. This is known as the ‘minimum wage’ and it ensures apprentices (and regular employees) are paid fairly for their work.

In reality many employers pay more than the minimum rate. However, the actual figures change regularly, so check the government's web page about the national minimum wage and use the apprenticeship Pay Calculator to check.

Apprentices are paid by their employer for the work they do, as well as for time spent on training.

  • If you are under 19 (or still in the first year of your apprenticeship) there is a minimum apprenticeship rate, but employers can and often do pay more.
  • If you are over 19 (or have completed the first year of your apprenticeship) the minimum pay is slightly higher rate depending on your age.

You can check whether you're on the proper rate with our Pay Calculator.  This tool can be really helpful if you are unclear about how much you should be getting paid.

Holidays and time off

A full-time apprentice is entitled to at least 20 days of paid holiday every year. This is in addition to bank holidays like Easter and Christmas. Again, this figure is only the minimum – some employers may give you more paid holidays. There is a rate your apprenticeship tool which can be useful for flagging up any issues with holidays.

By law, nobody is expected to work more than an average of 48 hours per week (or 40 if you’re under 18). You also have the right to have a certain number of hours away from work each week and also between shifts. Speak to your manager, mentor or union representative to find out more about what you are entitled to.