Employing an apprentice is something you have to factor into your training and employment budget, so looking at the wages you offer is important. Apprentices give smaller companies the chance to invest in much needed new employees as well as potentially giving a younger person the chance to gain work experience.
The wages you offer your apprentices can be dictated by government minimums, or you can look at a rate which fits your company and the talents you’re hoping to attract to your company. Let’s look more closely at your options.
Apprentice Minimum Wage
The current minimum wage for apprentices is £4.30 an hour but this does change depending on the age of your apprentices. Apprentices over 19 are initially entitled to £4.30 an hour but this rises after one year to the national minimum wage for their age group. This is to reflect the cost of living for their age group and to recognise their achievements, capabilities and responsibilities earned within the first year of training.
Minimum wage is an option for all employers and for smaller businesses, it may be essential to keep wage costs manageable. However, if you have the ability to pay more, would you consider it? What benefits come with offering apprentices more than the minimum wage available?
Benefits of Offering a Higher Apprentice Wage
You may want to consider offering apprentices a higher wage if you have the budget to do so. Apprenticeships are not just a solution for school leavers and many people at later stages in life are considering this method of work experience and training but may be put off by the relatively low wage. University fees are higher than ever before and many people are considering apprenticeships instead but may be worried about the lack of income.
Offering a higher apprentice wage also gives you the opportunity to attract a broader range of candidates. A wider demographic will be interested in your posts and this may mean you have access to a stronger range of talent, with more options to suit your business.
Some companies offer graduate apprenticeships too where salaries are up to £21,000 and offer the apprenticeship programme alongside a graduate entry scheme.
Apprenticeships can be for anybody and when you consider they are not just for young people with minimal living costs, it stands to reason you should consider your wage budget in line with the expectations and needs of your potential apprentices. The apprenticeship talent pool is more diverse than ever before with university graduates and career changes also looking into this kind of training programme, as well as school leavers.
Every apprentice programme is different, and every company requires different skills and talents, and it’s worth factoring in how important the right wage can be is important to attracting the type of apprentices perfect for your business. Your existing staff may also benefit from apprenticeship training so this is another option to consider when looking at wage budgets and recruitment.