Apprenticeships have changed over recent years and now offer an opportunity to enter many different careers. This page covers the terms and conditions of being an apprentice as well as helpful links to becoming an apprentice wherever you may live in the UK.
One area which is different for apprentices is the national minimum wage as there is a special rate for apprentices depending on their age and how long they have been on their apprenticeship.
Most apprentices are employed and therefore have the same rights as other employees. To find out more about rights as an employee go to the GOV.UK website.
Some things to note though are:
- The minimum hours of employment for an apprentice should be at least 30 hours per week. By exception, where the individual’s circumstances or the particular nature of employment in a given sector makes this impossible, then an absolute minimum of 16 hours must be met. In such cases the duration of the Apprenticeship should be extended.
- Apprentices are also entitled to holidays which you can find out more about on GOV.UK.
- Many of the special protections in the Working Time regulations for young workers under 18 will apply to apprentices, for example young workers must not exceed 8 hours a day or 40 hours per week. They are also entitled to rest breaks of at least 30 minutes if their shift lasts more than four and half hours.
- You can contact the Acas helpline for free and confidential advice on your rights at work.
With regard to apprenticeships in England, there is some more information about eligibility, how long they take, the qualifications you can get and the different levels of apprenticeship on GOV.UK.
You can find also out more about English apprenticeships from GOV.UK, including about the different types of apprenticeship.
Apprenticeships policy is a devolved matter and it is for the devolved administrations of Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales to determine how they manage their own schemes. Find out about apprenticeships in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland by clicking on the relevant link.
The GOV.UK website has detailed information on apprenticeships, including the various apprenticeships available, how you become an apprentice and a parent’s guide to apprenticeships.