Pay and Conditions for Apprentices

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You must pay apprentices at least the minimum wage rate.

The National Minimum Wage calculator works out the exact amount that you have to pay an employee.


Apprentices usually work for at least 30 paid hours a week and must work more than 16.

You must pay your apprentice for time spent training or studying for a relevant qualification, whether while at work or at a college or training organisation.

You must offer apprentices the same conditions as other employees working at similar grades or in similar roles. This includes:

  • paid holidays
  • sick pay
  • any benefits you offer, eg childcare voucher schemes
  • any support you offer, eg coaching or mentoring

How long it lasts

Apprenticeships can last from 1 to 4 years, depending on the level of qualification the apprentice is studying for.

Apprentices and redundancy

You can’t usually make an apprentice redundant simply because you can’t afford to pay them, eg if your company runs out of work. This is because you have a contract to train them.

You should get legal advice if you think you might have to make an apprentice redundant or want to end the apprenticeship early for another reason.

If you’re unsure whether you can commit to a full apprenticeship but would still like to hire an apprentice, you can use an apprenticeship training agency.