Earn while you learn: advice on financial support for apprentices.
As an apprentice, your employer will pay you a wage on a regular basis. How much and how often depends on the employer and the training contract you agree. Chances are you'll be paid a little less than someone with some experience. But fret not, as you go through your apprenticeship, gain more experience and a knowledge of the industry, there are opportunities, as with any job, for a pay rise.
It is worth remembering however, that as well as paying you, your employer will be training you, which isn't a bad deal really.
As if getting paid to study wasn't enough of a perk, you'll also be entitled to paid holidays and bank holidays too. It's a good idea to discuss details with your employer before entering a training agreement, but you are entitled to at least 20 days of holiday every year - whatever you get on top of that is a bonus! There are some rules you'll have to follow when you take holiday (some employers don't let you take holidays at certain times of the year, for example). Speak to your employer to find out what their policy is.
And if that wasn't enough for you lucky lot, most employers give you days off to study. Hurray!
Now for the not-so-good stuff - tax. As you're an employee, you will have to pay tax. If you want to find out what tax is, what it goes towards and how much you'll have to pay, the HM Revenue and Customs website should have all the answers.
Although your apprenticeship shouldn't just be about the money, a little financial help can go a long way. Feast your eyes on some funding providers that could give you a few extra pennies.
The National Union of Students (NUS) offers a discount card for apprentices called the NUS Apprentice Extra Card [new window]. This offers the sort of discounts on local and national businesses normally open to university students.
It costs £11 to buy, and in return you’ll have access to hundreds of discounts including cinemas, restaurants, shops and bus and train companies. Used wisely, it could save you over £500 a year. Definitely worth checking out.
You can get extra help to fund your education. The money can be spent on books, equipment and any other related costs. The amount you are eligible to receive will vary but your training provider should be able to give you a better idea. Check out the DfES website for further information about financial help.
Child benefit is there to help out with the cost of childcare. Unlike lots of benefits, it's not income-assessed so everyone gets the same.
Who's eligible? People in full-time education who are bringing up a child could be eligible. For more info, check out the HM Revenue and Customs website - www.hmrc.gov.uk [new window].
Housing benefit is offered by local councils to help people with the cost of living (rent, bills, home maintenance). The amount you get depends on your individual situation, but it's always worth finding out about.
Who's eligible? If you're on low income and you're paying rent, you could be eligible. Head to the Department of Work and Pensions website to find out if you're eligible.
Disability benefits are there to help with the cost of care, mobility, travel or any other special requirements people with a disability might have.
Who's eligible? The disability benefit is available to people who have a disability and/or their carer. Visit the Department of Work and Pensions website - www.dwp.gov.uk [new window] for more information.
Edited text is reproduced courtesy of Barker Brooks Media, publishers behind The Apprenticeship Guide. For more information go to The Apprenticeship Guide .