Are employers required to pay apprentices the national minimum wage?

Yes, employers are required to pay apprentices the national minimum wage. The apprenticeship rate, which is £3.40 per hour from 1 October 2016, applies to workers who are employed under a contract of apprenticeship, or under a specified government apprenticeship arrangement, who are aged under 19 or in the first 12 months of the apprenticeship.

Apprentices who are aged 19 or over and not in the first 12 months of the apprenticeship are entitled to the relevant rate of the national minimum wage depending on their age: £5.55 per hour for those aged 19 or 20; £6.95 for those aged 21 or over but under 25; and £7.20 for those aged 25 and over (the national living wage, which was introduced on 1 April 2016).