Call us for a free Consultation on: 0333 772 0611


Apprenticeships(1)can be a great opportunity for school leavers looking to gain on-the-job skills and qualifications. They’re also a good deal for employers keen to train youngsters to the best standards, at the same time acquiring a part-funded addition to the workforce.

Anyone over the age of 16 and not in full-time education can seek an apprenticeship. This tried-and-tested work-based training programme is designed to offer young people practical, hands-on experience, together with day-release sessions in colleges or other training establishments that will ultimately lead to a nationally recognised qualification – and hopefully a rewarding career.

Apprenticeships usually take between one and four years to complete, during which time employers are eligible for funding from the National Apprenticeship Service, depending on the sector and age of the apprentice.

Rights and restrictions

Apprentices would normally be expected to work for at least 30 hours per week(2). Younger apprentices (under 19 years old – or 19 years and over for the first year of the apprenticeship) are currently paid £3.40 per hour, though many employers choose to pay a higher rate. As soon as the apprentice turns 19 and has completed the first year of training, the employer is required to pay the National Minimum Wage (NMW) or National Living Wage (NLW(3)) as appropriate.

Young apprentices – under 18(4)- have special protections in place, including not exceeding the 8-hour working day or putting in more than 40 hours per week. Paid holidays should also be factored in and half-hour rest breaks for shifts of more than four-and-a-half hours.

Climbing the ladder

Apprentices can work towards a qualification(5)that best suits their abilities and ambitions, from Intermediate (Level 2), Advanced (Level 3) or Higher (Level 4). Those opting for a Higher Apprenticeship could gain a vocational Foundation degree qualification.


1. Further education and skills: Apprenticeships - GOV.UK [Internet]. [cited 2018 Feb 1]. Available from:

2. The Cube 123 Albion Street. Apprentices, Apprenticeships Advice & Guidance. 2017 Feb 28 [cited 2018 Feb 1]; Available from:

3. National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage rates - GOV.UK [Internet]. [cited 2018 Feb 1]. Available from:

4. Employing an apprentice - GOV.UK [Internet]. [cited 2018 Feb 1]. Available from:

5. Become an apprentice - GOV.UK [Internet]. [cited 2018 Feb 1]. Available from:

Were here to help when you need it.

   "A reputation built on Success"

We offer support on a wide range of employment law and HR issues. Our dedicated adviser are here to answer your questions and help you with your concerns. Your call is free and with no oblgation. Calls may be recorded for monitoring and training purposes.

Call us today on 0333 772 0611 or request a call back

Minimize close

Request a call back




I received fantastic advice and had all my questions clearly answered.



I received concise no nonsense advice. I am extremely grateful for your time and expertise!



Very clear and practical advice. The adviser knows his field well and was very understanding. Will definitely recommend.



When I requested a call back, the response was very prompt. I felt supported and that I was being listened to. The adviser took the time to explain things to me and the advice was extremely helpful. Thank you so much!



The adviser was helpful and his advice was most valuable and has helped me make an informed decision about my future action. Thank you very much.



Excellent service. Free legal on call advice, the advice was to the point, the adviser was very kind, and I was given time to explain everything. I didn't feel rushed of the phone, you are given time to decide if you want to use the service, there is no pressure from them. God sent!



Excellent straight talking advice. No nonsense or jargon. Much appreciated



I feel confident with the advice I was given today. I am glad I joined Castle Associates.



So friendly and helpful thank you so much. Precise advice that really was useful and explained in an easy to understand manner, would definitely use them again.



Really helpful initial free advice on an employment law issue. Friendly and approachable which made the call really easy and informative. Definitely recommend the service.