Your rights as an apprentice

In the light of recent media attention on a minority of poor quality Apprenticeships, Unionlearn has re-launched its ‘Your Rights as an Apprentice’ booklet – specifically aimed at apprentices in the workplace. Click here to read it on the WorkSmart website.

Key rights that all apprentices are entitled to are:


At present in England, apprentices over the age of 19 are entitled to the National Minimum Wage after they have completed the first 12 months of their apprenticeship.

Those under the age of 19 or in the first twelve months of their training are currently entitled to an Apprenticeship National Minimum Wage which is set by the Low Pay Commission on an annual basis. It is currently £2.60 per hour as of 1st October 2011.

Apprentices should be paid for time spent training off the job as well as the time they spend in the workplace. The new Minimum Wage entitlement for apprentices will also cover Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland.

Time off to Train

The Specification for Apprenticeship Standards in England (SASE) requires that all Apprenticeships contain a minimum of 280 ‘Guided Learning Hours’ within a 12 month period. The SASE also sets out that at least 100 Guided Learning Hours, (or 30% of the total Guided Learning Hours if the amount is over 280 hours), must be delivered off-the-job. All Guided Learning Hours must be clearly evidenced.

Apprenticeship Agreement

The requirement for an Apprenticeship Agreement between an employer and an apprentice, under the ASCL Act 2009 sections 32-36, came into force on the 6 April 2012. An Apprenticeship Agreement is required at the commencement of the Apprenticeship for all new apprentices who start on or after that date. The Apprenticeship Agreement must state that the apprentice will be undertaking an Apprenticeship in a particular skill, trade or occupation.

Not getting what you are entitled to?

If you are not getting the above – let unionlearn’s apprenticeship team know by emailing apprenticeships – do remember to tell us if you are a member of a union.

Leave a Reply