Apprentices get a 21% wage boost from April 2024

In a promising move for apprentices across the UK, the Treasury has revealed plans to increase the minimum hourly wage for apprentices to £6.40 starting from April 2024.  

The announcement came from the autumn statement by Chancellor Jeremy Hunt. It follows last year’s commendable 9.7% rise in the apprentice national minimum wage. 

The 21% pay rise means that apprentices will see their minimum hourly pay go from the current £5.28 to £6.40. This boost will help apprentices during the UK’s current cost of living crisis. 

However, there’s still a gap between apprentices and other groups of working people. The national living wage and national minimum wage rates for 18 to 20-year-olds have also both risen. 

For apprentices aged 16 to 18, and those aged 19 or over in their first year of apprenticeship, employers must pay at least the apprentice minimum wage. After their first year, apprentices aged over 19 should receive at least the national minimum wage or the national living wage, depending on their age. 

Notably, the national living wage is set increase of over a pound an hour – a jump from £10.42 to £11.44. This increment will also extend to 21-year-olds for the first time, resulting in a 2.4% pay rise from £10.18 to £11.44 next year. Chancellor Jeremy Hunt was keen to point out that this national living wage hike equates to an additional £1,800 annually. 

More good news for 18 to 20-year-olds, as the national minimum wage rates for this group will see a substantial increase by £1.11, bringing it to £8.60 per hour. 

The increased wages undoubtedly mark a positive step forward for apprentices, though critics still point out that the apprentice wage of £6.40 is only a little over half of the national living wage. Earlier this year, a journalist in the New Statesman called the wage “exploitative”. 

Not every apprentice is paid the apprenticeship wage, however. Apprenticeship Guide Jobs list plenty of vacancies that pay well over £6.40 per hour. Some supporters of the apprenticeship wage also point out that apprentices can expect good wages upon completing their apprenticeship, often well ahead of their peers who go to university. 

See apprenticeships sorted by expected wage upon completion. 

Image: Canva
Dive Right in, Start Your Apprenticeship Search Now

Or still want to find out a little more first? Read our FAQ’s or visit our guidance section.

Follow our socials for apprenticeship tips and resources: