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Question for Department for Education

UIN 156505, tabled on 21 June 2018

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to make apprenticeships more affordable for apprentices.

Answered on

29 June 2018

Apprenticeships are paid jobs with training - they benefit people of all ages and backgrounds, allowing apprentices to earn while they learn without having to pay for training or qualifications.

We provide funding so that employers and providers can support their apprentices with some of the costs of their apprenticeships. We provide up to £600 to training providers to support apprentices from the 27 per cent most disadvantaged postcode areas when they train on a framework, and £150 a month where an apprentice requires further learning support as a result of conditions such as dyslexia or other learning difficulties and disabilities. We also provide a £1,000 payment to providers and employers when they take on a 16-18 year old apprentice. The funding we provide ensures that any additional costs are not passed on to employers or providers.

A young person on an apprenticeship will receive at least the apprentice national minimum wage, which increased to £3.70 per hour in April 2018. This represents a 5.7 per cent increase and means the Apprentice rate is at a record high in nominal and real terms. The Low Pay Commission estimates that the increase will benefit up to 34,000 apprentices. In England, the mean pay rate for level 2 apprentices is £6.69; the level 2 median is £6.35. The mean pay rate for level 3 apprentices is £7.38; the level 3 median is £7.10.

In addition, from August 2018, we are introducing a £1,000 bursary to eligible care leavers aged 16-24 starting an apprenticeship. We understand that care leavers face particular financial disadvantage and government has a responsibility to support them as they transition into the world of work through an apprenticeship.