The Government is investing £3.8 billion more in further education and skills over the Parliamentary session. The Government’s skills reforms provide a ladder of opportunity that enables young people and adults to attain good jobs and progress in their careers.
Apprenticeships offer individuals throughout England the opportunity to gain valuable skills, retrain, or reskill for careers in a variety of industries. Apprentices earn a wage while they learn and are not responsible for their apprenticeship training costs.
The independent Low Pay Commission is responsible for advising the Government on annual changes to the minimum pay rates. Its recommendations follow a period of extensive research and consultation with employers, sector representative bodies and government stakeholders.
In November 2022, the Government accepted in full, the commission’s recommendation to increase the Apprentice National Minimum Wage by 9.7 per cent from April 2023. This means that an apprentice will be entitled to a minimum wage of at least £5.28 per hour in the first year of their apprenticeship. Most employers pay their apprentices more than the minimum. Latest data shows that the median gross hourly pay for apprentices in 2021 was £9.98 per hour.
In its summary of evidence for 2022, the Low Pay Commission found that there is little evidence that recent rises to National Minimum and Living Wage rates have harmed employment, or that aligning the Apprentice National Minimum Wage Rate with the Under 18 National Minimum Wage in 2022 has adversely impacted apprenticeship starts. The Government will, of course, continue to monitor the impact that any rise in the Apprentice Minimum Wage has on apprenticeship starts over the coming year, and will share intelligence across government and with the Low Pay Commission as necessary.
The Government remains committed to ensuring that apprentice pay supports the attraction and retention of talented individuals into apprenticeships, and particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds. It is right that apprentices receive a wage which is fair and commensurate with the value and skills that they bring to their workplaces.