Apprenticeships are a great way to make a start in a wide range of professions, such as engineering, accounting, construction and floristry. They let you study, develop practical skills and earn while you learn.

An apprenticeship is a three-way arrangement between an employer, an apprentice and a training provider. It combines formal study with on-the-job training. At the end of your apprenticeship, you’ll get a vocational qualification.

To be eligible for an apprenticeship, you must be aged 16-24 and not in any other full-time education. They take one to five years to complete, depending on the level.

Apprentices aged 16-18, or 19 and in their first year, have a specific National Minimum Wage rate. As of April 2017, this is £3.50 per hour. After that, you’re entitled to the National Minimum Wage for your age group. Some employers will pay their apprentices more than the legal minimum.

Apprentices have most of the same working rights as most other employees, on issues like holidays, rest breaks, and health and safety provision. But apprentices are typically entitled to a shorter working week (about 30 hours) to allow for study and training.

There are also fewer circumstances in which an apprentice’s contract can be terminated.

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Common
questions
What is an apprenticeship?
An apprenticeship is a three-way arrangement between an employer, an apprentice and a training provider that combines on-the-job training and formal study to develop skills, experience and qualifications.
How much should I get paid as an apprentice?
Apprentices are entitled to at least the National Minimum Wage. As of 1 April 2017, this is £3.50 per hour for apprentices aged 16 to 18, or aged 19 but in the first year of their apprenticeship. All other apprentices are entitled to the National Minimum Wage for their age.
What am I entitled to?
As an apprentice you are an employee and are entitled to the basic rights that go with that status.