The government is incentivising companies to offer apprenticeship programmes at all levels, across every industry and sector you could think of.

Meaning the likelihood that there’s an apprenticeship out there for you – whatever your age or experience – is growing.

But what’s in place to protect the quality of these emerging apprenticeships and make sure you get the most out whichever course you choose?

Jess, apprentice at Co-op

My employer is really behind me being successful and are always willing to provide the information and help I need. They’re always pushing us to achieve as much as we’re able to, but we’re never forced into anything.

Let’s look at the apprenticeship rules for employers

Every employer who offers an apprenticeship programme is given a template by the government. It outlines what they have to deliver, and what must go into every apprentice’s contract.

It’s a hefty document, but it only covers the mandatories. And, because the value of an apprenticeship scheme is in the people it attracts, employers often go above and beyond what’s required of them to attract the best talent.  

What are my rights and responsibilities?

As an apprentice, you’ll have the same rights as any other employee to things like pay, holiday, and working hours.

But you’ll also have responsibilities too, which outline what’s expected of you on a day-to-day basis. They’re there to make sure you and your employer both get the most from your apprenticeship.

Take a look at the full list of apprentice rights and responsibilities.

Lauren, employer at Tulip

All our apprentices start on the current national living wage, which is way higher than the minimum for apprentices. And they’re on pay scales that offer pay rises as they progress. We believe it gives them a bit of autonomy and lets them earn a good salary while they learn.

What’s the minimum I’ll get paid?

As an apprentice, you must receive at least the apprenticeship minimum wage of £3.90 per hour – and after your first year, the minimum wage for your age group:

Age Current hourly rate
Apprentice MW £3.90
Under 18 £4.35
18 – 20 £6.15
21 – 24 £7.70
25 and over £8.21


If you don’t know your hourly rate, use this calculator to make sure you’re getting the minimum.

But most employers will offer more than the minimum. After all, they want the best people for the role just like you want the best role for you.

Many higher and degree apprenticeships advertise at around £16,000 to £24,000 per year.

Why pick an apprenticeship?

Our top four tips to why you should consider one:

  1. Earn while you learn.
  2. Preparation for working.
  3. You’ll receive a qualification.
  4. You could go on to university.

FInd out more