• Legislative background
- Apprenticeships Bill
• What we know about apprentice pay
- By sector
- By gender
• Apprentice pay in unionised workplaces
Apprentices and the NMW -
• who’s covered by the NMW now?
• what will change in October 2010?
• details of the new NMW Apprentice Rate
• what are the NMW rates?
• how is the NMW enforced?
NMW + apprentices – who is
• there are currently 3 rates of the NMW: for adults 22 and
above; 18-21s; 16-17s.
• apprentices are entitled to the age-based NMW rates unless
they are under age 19 or in the first year of their
• but apprenticeships are shorter than they used to be, and
more than 3 out of 10 apprentices drop out.
• as a result, the TUC estimates that more than 60 per cent of
apprentices are currently exempt from the NMW.
What’s going to change in October
• Adult rate of NMW to be paid at 21 rather than current age 22
– this will benefit some apprentices.
• Those apprentices who are currently exempt will be covered
by a new National Minimum Wage Apprentice rate of £2.50
• Remember that the new rate will apply to those under the
age of 19 or in the first year of apprenticeship. Others get the
appropriate age-based rate of the NMW.
Details of the new NMW Apprentice Rate
• the new rate will benefit 14% of apprentices
• both on and off-the-job training must be paid at least the new
• all the rates will be reviewed every year by LPC.
• all the rates will be enforced by HM Revenue and Customs.
• transitional arrangements in England to make sure that no
apprentice earns less than £95 per week (current Minimum
• the remaining non-employed apprenticeships will still be
exempt, but they will end by 2011.
What are the NMW rates?
From 1 October 2009 From 1 October2010
Adult rate £5.80 £5.93
21 year olds £4.83 £5.93
18 to 20 year olds £4.83 £4.92
16* and 17 year olds £3.57 £3.64
Apprentice rate** nil £2.50
How can you enforce the NMW?
• NMW help from your union, or from the Pay and Work Rights
Helpline: 0800 917 2568
• NMW is enforced by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), or
directly by unions.
• if using HMRC, workers can appoint union officers or
stewards as their agents, so that HMRC can discuss the case
• if employers are not willing to pay up, enforcement is via
• for cases that fall outside of the ET time limits, can use the
County Court to enforce the payment of wages provisions in
the Employment Rights Act 1996 – 6 yr limit. 7
ASCL Act 2009
• The Apprenticeships, Schools, Children and
• Received royal assent in November 2009
• Requires all apprentices to be employed and to
have a contract of employment
• Effectively abolishes “Programme Led
Apprenticeships” or PLAs which are college based
What do we know about apprentice
• Labour Force Survey pay data
• DIUS 2007 Apprentice Pay Survey
• Pay information provided by unions
DIUS 2007 apprentice pay survey
• Average apprentice pay £170 per week
• Gender pay gap 21%
• 12% of apprentices reported not receiving any pay
at all (41% in retail, 32% in health and social care)
• Average pay for Level 2 apprenticeships was £159
in 2007 as compared to £179 for Level 3
Collective bargaining – apprentice
pay in unionised workplaces
• Pay for apprentices is higher in unionised workplaces
• Some examples of apprentice pay in collective agreements:
RMT/Alstom Transport West Coast Traincare (2009-10):
£11,301 – 22,599 pa
Unite/Siemens Industrial Turbomachinery (2010-11): L3
apprentice upon completion £21,024
Example of Joint Industry Board for Plumbing
Mechanical Engineering Services in England and
Wales 2010 - Unite
TUC National Minimum Wage Policy Officer
Phone: 020 7467 1302
TUC Apprenticeships Policy and Campaigns Officer
Phone: 020 7467 1281
Advocating for Apprentices 16 April 2010 15
Apprentice Pay Workshop