Apprentice Wages. Pay what you can: not what you have to.

We have seen a rise in apprentice wages as UK job vacancies hit a high.

Below are a few articles, clippings and quotes from the last month or so commenting on apprentice wages and wages in general.

The number of job vacancies in the United Kingdom reached a record high of a almost 1.3 million in the three months to March 2022, around 662,000 more vacancies when compared with February 2021.

Included in that figure are a very high number of apprenticeship vacancies.

Inflation: Headlines of April 13th read:

UK inflation has risen to 7% – the highest rate it has been for 30 years.

Wages: On April 1st, all the national minimum wages increased.

For 21- & 22-year-olds it now stands at £9.18 / hour. For 18–20-year-olds it’s £6.83 / hour.

Apprentice wages, along with 16 & 17 years, the wage is £4.81 / hour.

For an average working week of 37.5 hours / week a 21 year old looking to enter the workforce full time could be earning £344 a week in retail or in hospitality. Or they could be earning £177 a week on a digital marketer or junior content producer or any other apprenticeship.

For some young people and their families, they’ll be able to take a longer term view and recognise that an apprenticeship is an investment in their future.

We know that on average 85% of apprentices are in sustainable employment, in work they choose to do, six months after the end of their apprenticeships. 10% move onto Higher Education. We are in touch with a number of past apprentices and congratulate them on their promotion or new role.

We saw a very large number of young people prepared to work at the national minimum apprentice wage rate as a means of getting their foot into the door of a highly competitive industry and knowing that would only last for a year.

The cost-of-living crisis is making it more challenging for young people and their families to make that choice between an apprenticeship paid at £4.71 / hour and an entry level job without the training of an apprenticeship at national at £9.18 / hour. The gap is even starker as from age 22 onwards the rate is £9.50 / hour.

I’m not saying you suddenly have to put all your apprentices on the national minimum wage for their age. What I am saying is make it easier for a potential apprentice and their family to make the choice of an apprenticeship. If you can, make the gap between the two rates narrower.  There will be young people desperate to work in creative, digital and marketing roles but an apprenticeship is no longer a viable route for them. Attract the best apprentice talent you can by paying at a rate you can afford and not what you have to.

Read about three companies that have grown with apprentices here

If you are looking to hire a Creative, Digital and Marketing apprentice then please contact us here