Apprentices aged 18 must be paid the National Minimum Wage after 12 months

They will be entitled to £5.55 per hour as of April, in the latest in a run of wage rises for apprentices. 

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Apprentices aged 18 must be paid the standard National Minimum Wage after 12 months as of April 2017, it has been announced. 

Apprentices falling into this bracket (aged 18 - 22) will be entitled to £5.55 per hour. Those younger or within the first year of their programme will still see a rise in pay: they will receive at least £3.50 an hour – up from the current rate of £3.40 an hour – from April, according to a statement published on the government’s website coinciding with the autumn statement.

This comes after the minimum wage for apprentices increased from £3.30 an hour to £3.40 in October 2016, along with a rise in the general National Minimum Wage.

The minimum that apprentices are entitled to depends on their age and length of time on a programme. Starting at £3.40 per hour (rising to £3.50 in April), if you’re under 19 or in their first year, in the second year this increases to: £5.55 if you’re aged 18 to 20, £6.95 if you’re 21 to 24 and in line with the National Living Wage of £7.20 if you’re over 25.

You must be at least school leaving age to get the National Minimum Wage, and aged 25 to get the National Living Wage - the minimum wage will still apply for workers aged 24 and under. 

“Every apprentice counts. No matter who you are, or where you are from, or whatever you want to do, an apprenticeship will open up doors for you. And not just at work. Apprenticeships are an opportunity to acquire skills and professional experience, but they have a much wider impact. You will gain confidence in your talents, approach new situations outside your comfort zone and, maybe, even unlock new dreams and aspirations.”

An apprentice aged 22 still within the first year of their apprenticeship, for example, is entitled to a minimum hourly rate of £3.40, rising to £3.50 an hour in April.

In a letter to apprentices announcing the news, Apprenticeships and Skills Minister Robert Halfon said: “Every apprentice counts. No matter who you are, or where you are from, or whatever you want to do, an apprenticeship will open up doors for you. And not just at work.

“Apprenticeships are an opportunity to acquire skills and professional experience, but they have a much wider impact. You will gain confidence in your talents, approach new situations outside your comfort zone and, maybe, even unlock new dreams and aspirations.”

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