Starting a hairdressing apprenticeship
is an exciting time. Not only will you be receiving valuable training during this period, but you are considered an employee by your employer, entitling you to the same legal rights as everyone else. This means equal rights to a regular wage, fair working hours, rest periods and annual leave.
All apprentices are treated as employees and therefore entitled to regular wages, regardless of age. Wages are generally paid weekly or monthly and the necessary taxes and National Insurance deductions must be made.
Until April 2017, the National Minimum Wage for apprentices aged 19 or under, or aged 19 or over and in their first year of apprenticeship, is £3.40 per hour. This wage will be increasing to £3.50 come this date. For those apprentices who are aged 19 or over and who have completed one year of their apprenticeship, they are eligible to receive the National Minimum Wage, relevant to their age. These amounts apply to both time spent working and time spent training as part of the apprenticeship scheme.
Employers may pay the new wage, and many do so, but they must also ensure that the minimum wage is at least paid.
For those apprentices on a higher wage, the employer must continue to pay this higher wage for the duration of the training, or until the point at which the apprentice becomes eligible for the full national minimum wage.
As with all employee agreements, it is best to have everything recorded in writing to prevent any unnecessary deductions or disagreements from taking place in the future.
Depending upon your age, your apprenticeship will be paid in a few different ways, as follows:
Ages 16 to 18
The training in your apprenticeship is paid for by the Government, whereas your wages are paid for by your employer. As of 1 April 2017, an apprentice will earn £3.50 per hour.
Ages 19 to 24
If you are aged 19 or over and fall within a specific category of apprenticeship, the Government may pay for your training. However, you may also want to ask your employer if they are willing to contribute more to your wages.
As a guideline, you will be paid £3.50 per hour in the first year of your apprenticeship only, effective 1 April 2017.
If you are in your second year of your apprenticeship, you will be paid the minimum wage relevant to your age. This equates to the following, effective 1 April 2017:
Age 25 and older
- Aged 20 at £5.60 per hour
- Aged 21 at £7.05 per hour
If you are aged 25 or over and are interested in taking on an apprenticeship, you have a few options. Your employer may either pay for your training, or you may be eligible to apply for an Advanced Learning Loan.