Work and Pay

Apprentices and the minimum wage: the case for narrowing differentials

Commissioned by: Unison

  • Published 5th Sep 2018
  • Category: Work and Pay

The National Minimum Wage Apprentice Rate (NMWAR), applies to apprentices under the age of 19, and all other apprentices for the first year of their apprenticeship, after which time older apprentices are eligible for their age-related minimum wage. This report was commissioned by UNISON, to critically review the Low Pay Commission’s evidence base relating to the case for wage differentials between apprentices and employees, particularly for people under the age of 19. It also incorporates academic research from countries with well-established apprentice systems. This report further includes a case study from NHS Scotland, to highlight the benefits to an employer of paying the voluntary Living Wage to apprentices.

About this report
This report was funded by Unison and written by Karen Barker, Issy Petrie and Adam Tinson of the New Policy Institute. The facts presented and views expressed in this report are those of the authors and not necessarily those of Unison.