What is the National Minimum Wage for an apprentice?
The National Minimum Wage (NMW) regulations depend on your age, but there is also a special rate for apprentices who are under the age of 19 or are in the first year of their apprenticeship. The table below summarises the position.
From 1 April 2018 (current)
|From 1 April 2017
Rate per hour
|25 and over (National Living Wage)||£7.83||£7.50|
|21 and over||£7.38||£7.05|
|18 to 20||£5.90||£5.60|
(all apprentices under age 19 AND any apprentice, regardless of age, in first year of apprenticeship)
From 1 April 2016 the National Living Wage must be paid to employees aged 25 and older except for those who are in the first year of their apprenticeship. The NMW rates will apply to workers aged below 25 or in their first year of an apprenticeship.
You can find information on the NMW of earlier years on the GOV.UK website.
More information is available on our National Minimum Wage factsheet and the examples below explain how the NMW is calculated for apprentices.
Any changes to an apprentice’s NMW rate because they have completed their first year of their apprenticeship and are over 19 will be reflected in their next pay period and not from the exact date of the change (this is illustrated in the Seamus example below).
Rosie was born in November 1995 and began her two year apprenticeship on 31 August 2016. Rosie is paid per calendar month and her NMW will be as follows:
- 31 August 2016 – 1 October 2016: Rosie’s NMW will be £3.30 per hour.
- 1 October 2016 – 1 April 2017: Rosie’s NMW will be £3.40 per hour as the NMW rates changed on the 1 October 2016.
- 1 April 2017 – 31 August 2017: Rosie’s NMW will be £3.50 per hour at the NMW rates changed on the 1 April 2017.
- 1 September 2017 – 31 March 2018: Rosie’s NMW will be £7.05 per hour as she has completed the first year of her apprenticeship and she is aged over 19 she will be paid the NMW according to her age and in September 2017 Rosie will be 21 years old.
- 1 April – 30 August 2018: Rosie’s NMW will be £7.38 per hour as the NMW rate increased from 1 April 2018.
Seamus started his three year apprenticeship on 6 September 2015, he was 17 on 8 May 2016.Seamus gets paid on the 15th of each month and his NMW is as follows:
- 6 September 2015 – 30 September 2015: Seamus’s NMW rate was £2.73 per hour.
- 1 October 2015 – 30 September 2016: Seamus’s NMW rate was £3.30 per hour. There is an increase as the NMW rates used to change annually from 1 October. Even though Seamus has completed his first year of his apprenticeship on 5 September 2016 he remained on the apprentice NMW rate as he was under 19 years old.
- 1 October 2016 – 31 March 2017: Seamus’s NMW rate increased to £3.40 per hour.
- 1 April 2017 – 31 March 2018: the NMW rate changes from 1 April 2017 onwards, Seamus’s new NMW rate increased to £3.50 per hour.
- 1 April 2018 – 15 May 2018: the NMW rate will increase from the 1 April 2018, Seamus’s new NMW rate will be £3.70 per hour.
- 16 May 2018 – 5 September 2018: Seamus’s NMW rate will change as he is now 19 and he has been on his apprenticeship for longer than one year. His new NMW is £5.90 per hour. The change will take effect from the pay period after Seamus’s birthday and not from the actual date of his birthday.