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.
|Age|| From 1 April 2020 (current)
Rate per hour
| From 1 April 2019 (current)
Rate per hour
|25 and over (National Living Wage)||£8.72||£8.21|
|21 and over||£8.20||£7.70|
|18 to 20||£6.45||£6.15|
|Apprentice (all apprentices under age 19 AND any apprentice, regardless of age, in first year of apprenticeship)||£4.15||£3.90|
The National Living Wage (NLW) 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 GOV.UK.
More information is available on our National Minimum Wage factsheet and the examples below explain how the NMW is calculated for apprentices. The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy publishes information on calculating the NMW and the NLW including working hours under the minimum wage rules.
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 Rosie and Seamus examples below).
Rosie was born in November 1998 and began her two year apprenticeship on 1 September 2019. Rosie is paid per calendar month and her NMW will be as follows:
1 September 2019 - 31 March 2020: Rosie’s NMW will be £3.90 per hour.
1 April 2020 - 31 August 2020: Rosie’s NMW will be £4.15 per hour as the NMW rates changed on 1 April 2020.
1 September 2020 - 31 March 2021: Rosie’s NMW will be £8.20 per hour as she has completed the first year of her apprenticeship. As she is aged over 19 she will be paid the NMW according to her age (on 1 September 2020, Rosie will be 21 years old).
Seamus started his three-year apprenticeship on 6 September 2017, he was 17 on 8 May 2018. Seamus gets paid at the end of each calendar month and his NMW is as follows:
6 September 2017 – 31 March 2018: Seamus’s NMW rate was £3.50 per hour.
1 April 2018 – 31 March 2019: the NMW rate changed from 1 April 2018. Seamus’s NMW rate increased to £3.70 per hour. Even though Seamus completed his first year of his apprenticeship on 5 September 2018, he remained on the apprentice NMW rate as he was under 19 years old.
1 April 2019 – 31 March 2020: the NMW rate increased from 1 April 2019. Seamus’s NMW rate was £3.90 per hour.
1 April 2020 – 15 May 2020: the NMW increased to £4.15 per hour.
16 May 2020: 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 rate is £6.45 per hour. The change will take effect from the beginning of the pay period after Seamus’s birthday and not from the actual date of his birthday.