POSTED: June 21 2024
Apprentices: A Payroll Perspective
What you need to know

Apprentices: A Payroll Perspective

Our Northern Payroll Manager, Lisa Wichlacz, then looks at the practical financial implications and benefits including the Apprenticeship Levy rates.


Apprenticeships are now becoming a practical and important route in many different careers as they combine practical training along with study leave so candidates can be easily ready for the world of work when they complete these courses.

As an apprentice: –

  1. You will be employed, earning a wage and getting holiday pay
  2. You will gain valuable on the job training working alongside experienced staff
  3. Gain skills specific to your role
  4. Get time out of work to attend training and courses related to the role

Apprenticeships can take 1-5 years to complete depending on the level of qualification needed for the role.

There are multiple levels of apprenticeships ranging from GCSE up to bachelor degrees and sometimes diplomas as additional qualifications.

To start an apprenticeship, you must meet some requirement you must be 16 years or older, Live in England and not be in full time education.

Apprentice rates of Pay
Apprentices are entitled to the apprentice rate in the first year of their apprenticeship.

In terms of pay the government sets out the rates for apprentices which are based on the national minimum wage and living wage:

21 and over        18 to 20               Under 18             Apprentice
£11.44                 £8.60                    £6.40                    £6.40

Apprentices who meet the qualifying conditions and are 22 or older are also eligible for auto-enrolment into your company pension scheme. That’s said, an apprentice from the age of 16 years old can request to join the scheme, and you must allow this and pay the employer contributions as you normally would depending on their earnings.

Apprenticeships as an Employer: –
You can get help from the government to pay for apprenticeship training. You might also be able to get an additional payment of £1,000, depending on the apprentice you hire.

What funding you can get
You can get money to go towards the cost of training and assessment. The amount you get depends on whether you pay the apprenticeship levy or not.

If you do not pay the apprenticeship levy
You pay 5% towards the cost of training and assessing your apprentice. You need to:

  • Agree a payment schedule with the training provider;
  • Pay them directly for the training

The government will pay the rest (95%) up to the funding band maximum. They’ll pay it directly to the training provider.

If you pay the apprenticeship levy
You’ll get funds to spend on training and assessing your apprentices. The government will add 10%. Use your apprenticeships service account to manage funding and provider payments.

There is more information on the apprenticeships and the Levy accounts on

If you want to know a bit more about how this can benefit your organisation, just reach out to your advo account manager.

Lisa Wichlacz, Northern Payroll Manager