Apprenticeships are a great career option for school leavers and 16-18-year-olds. They allow young people to train and learn while earning a wage and gaining experience. However, many parents worry that an apprenticeship is not a financially stable route. In reality, while an apprentice’s wage can start low, there is vast scope for salary progression.
Lower level apprenticeships, such as Level 2 (equivalent to 5 GCSEs) and Level 3 (equivalent to 2 A-Levels), often offer lower wages as 16-18-year-olds typically undertake them. This means that many apprentices are still living at home and being supported by their parents.
This doesn’t mean this will always be the case, though. After intermediate apprenticeships, your child might choose to do a Higher or Degree Apprenticeship. These are equivalent to a diploma or bachelor’s degree. These apprenticeships typically pay much more and award you with a qualification, which many students pay much more for.
If you are worried about your child starting an apprenticeship and not knowing how to be sensible with their money, you could work together to create a budget. Sit down with them and work out their outgoings, including any contributions to the household, and then see how much they will have left for personal spending.
What is an Apprentice Wage in the UK?
The minimum apprentice wage is lower than the standard minimum wage as an employer is investing in your child through the training they provide. It’s important to remember that apprenticeships provide more than a standard job; they are also a qualification that will support career development in the future.
As of April 2023, the National Minimum Wage is changing:
|Minimum wage / per hour
There are some essential things to know about apprenticeship wages. Apprentices only receive the apprentice wage if they are under 19 or aged 19 or over but in the first year of their apprenticeship. This means that if your child is over 19 and finished the first year of their apprenticeship, they will instead be paid the national minimum wage.
If your child begins an apprenticeship at 16, they may begin on the apprentice minimum wage. However, you can guarantee that if they continue to complete each apprenticeship level right up to a degree level, they will be paid no less than the national minimum.
The other important thing to remember is these are the minimum rates set by the government, but many employers choose to pay their apprentices, even intermediate apprentices, much more than this.
Will My Child Get More Money If They are Kept on Into Full-Time Employment?
Many apprentices continue working for their employer after their apprenticeship is finished. A 2018 study showed 85% of apprentices stayed in employment after their apprenticeship, 64% of those with the same employer. This is partly because they have the perfect training for that role and will now be a fully competent staff member.
If this happens to your child, they will no longer be on an apprentice wage, and their employer will transfer them to a standard wage, which will, by law, be higher than their apprentice wage. It is also common for employers to take their apprentices off hourly wages at the end of their contract and offer them a permanent salaried position.
If you are the parent of an apprentice or future apprentice, visit our dedicate guides for more information and support.
Can I Still Get My Child Benefit?Calvin Bowers2022-03-11T16:14:03+00:00
If your child is over 16 and doing an apprenticeship, you will no longer receive child benefit for that child. This is because the law states that you can only continue to receive child benefit for a child over 16 if they are in full-time education or unpaid training. These include:
- A levels
- T levels
- Scottish Highers
- NVQs and other vocational qualifications up to level 3
- Home education
- traineeships in England
- Foundation Apprenticeships or Traineeships in Wales
- Employability Fund programmes in Scotland