Apart from adhering to minimum wage requirements, school leaver employers are free to pay employees what they like. However, it should be carefully considered: AllAboutSchoolLeavers research shows that salary is the most important factor when it comes to applying to a company (71.2% of young people surveyed said so).
If an organisation wants to attract the best candidates, it might want to offer a salary that meets (or even exceeds) their expectations and those of their parents – the people that have the most influence over their decisions.
Here are the expected salaries relevant to the age groups on school leaver programmes:
- 16.1% of young people surveyed say they expect £6 per hour (£11,700 per annum)
- 13.4% of young people surveyed say they expect £7 per hour (£13,650 per annum)
- 10.6% of young people surveyed say they expect £8 per hour (£15,600 per annum)
- 76.5% of parents surveyed expect their child to be paid between £4,000 and £14,000.
In terms of apprentices, there are quite strict guidelines around the minimum employers should pay their apprentices.
The minimum that apprentices are entitled to depends on their age and length of time on a programme. Starting at £3.90 (as of April 2019) per hour – if an apprentice is under 19 or in their first year – this rises to £6.15 in the second year for those aged 18 to 20, then to £7.70 for 21-24-year-olds, and then up to £8.21 if they are over 25.
Apprentices aged 18 must be paid the standard National Minimum Wage after 12 months.
Employers are free to pay above the new wage and many do so, but employers must ensure that they are paying their apprentices at least the minimum wage.
The average weekly wage for an apprentice is actually around £200, dependant on the sector, region and apprenticeship level. For example, some higher apprenticeships can pay as much as £300-£500 per week.
Those who do get paid the minimum might be eligible to receive benefits from the government on top of their wage: it’s worth exploring the funding options out there.
Higher Apprenticeships and Degree Apprenticeships often pay higher than the National Minimum Wage and National Apprenticeship Minimum Wage; a £16,000 starting salary, for example, with regular pay reviews just like a standard employee would receive. Some HIgher Apprenticeship employers pay as high as £23,000 per year.