Employing an apprentice

Pay and conditions for apprentices

You are responsible for paying your apprentice’s wage and giving them their contract of employment. 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 must work towards an approved apprenticeship standard or framework. Their training must last at least 12 months.

They must be employed in a real job that gives them the opportunity to gain the knowledge and skills they need to pass their assessment.

You must pay your apprentice for time spent training or studying for their apprenticeship, 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 such as childcare voucher schemes
  • any support you offer such as coaching or mentoring

Apprentices and redundancy

Apprentices have the same employment rights as your other employees. Follow the process for making staff redundant if you have to make an apprentice redundant.

Get legal advice if you 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. If you pay the apprenticeship levy you can’t use funds from your digital account to pay for these services.