Earn while you learn: financial advice on apprenticeship funding, bursaries, salaries and an apprentice discount card.
While you’re on an apprenticeship your employer pays you a salary and supports you in your training. Financial support is available and you won’t have to pay any fees. If you’re between 16 and 18 the government will pay the full cost of your training, if you’re 19 or over the government will offer partial support.
If you are aged over 19 and asked to contribute towards the cost of your training you can apply for an Advanced Learner Loan to cover these costs.
The IET Engineering Horizons Bursary is a new addition to the IET’s portfolio of awards and scholarships which is designed to support passionate apprentices who face obstacles or personal challenges and need financial assistance.
Bursary award winners will receive £1,000 per year for the duration of their apprenticeship (up to four years), free IET membership and support, and when ready to apply, the application fee for their technician professional registration, allowing them to gain Engineering Technician (EngTech) or ICT Technician (ICTTech) professional status for free.
Find out more about the IET Engineering Horizons Bursary, or apply, at www.theiet.org/horizons.
The National Minimum Wage at writing (August 2016) is £3.30 per hour for apprentices under 19 or those aged over 19 who are in their first year of an apprenticeship, £5.30 for 19 and 20 year olds and £6.70 for those aged 21 and over. Many employers will pay you more as you develop your skills and according to figures from Reed, the average engineering apprentice annual salary is currently £15,644.
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!
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.
Updated August 2016
With thanks to The Apprenticeship Guide [new window].