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Is it fair for apprentices to be paid a lower living wage?

28th April - 05th May 2023

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Total votes


5-11 votes


11-16+ votes

In the last decade, apprenticeships have grown in popularity with young people, employers and education providers. There has been an explosion in the diversity of apprenticeship offerings and the qualifications. Although there has been a reduction in apprenticeship starts in the past few years, they are still viewed as a strong alternative route to long term employment

But that opportunity for young people is not necessarily that well remunerated. There have been many discussions on whether apprentices are paid enough for the work they do.

Young people learned more about apprenticeships and all that they entail for this VoteTopic. They reflected on the wage that apprentices receive, and whether it is reasonable given that apprenticeships consist of both working and learning. Meanwhile, our youngest voters reflected on the world of work and the wide-ranging careers that young people may enter into.

We worked with the Co-Op to ensure that young people’s voices were heard on this topic. The results were featured on the FIT for purpose website and there was an event in Parliament in which three young people from one of our subscriber schools presented the results.


Age 7-11

"Apprentices should get paid more because they might be going to
university and they have to pay for rent, food and other things which
might be quite expensive.”


Age 11-16

“It is fair because most young apprentices live at home still and have
less outgoings.”


Age 16+

“We think that £5.28 is not enough to live on and we feel it should be raised so that apprentices can afford basic essentials. They are doing the same work as their colleagues and that should be recognised.”

80% of those aged 5-7 said that they know what they want to be when they grow up.

  • Those aged 5-7 were discussing different career paths for this VoteTopic.
  • 80% voted 'Yes' to the question "Do you know what you want to be when you grow up?"
64% of those aged between 7-11 voted that apprentices are not paid fairly.

  • All other age groups were considering apprenticeships and the wages paid to apprentices.
  • Our highest 'No' majority came from the 7-11 age range, with 64% voting that apprentices are not paid fairly.
58% of those aged 11-16 voted that it is not fair for apprentices to be paid a lower living wage.

  • The question for those aged 11+ was slightly different, asking "Is it fair for apprentices to be paid a lower living wage?"
  • 58% voted 'No', with those in the comments arguing that they should be paid the same as others doing the same job as them.
57% of those aged 16+ also voted that it is not fair for apprentices to be paid a lower living wage.

  • The 16+ age range also had a majority 'No' vote, at 57%
  • However, we did receive many comments this week from those aged 7+, arguing that it is fair for apprentices to be paid a lower wage.
  • These 'No' comments argued that apprentices tend to have lower living costs, with many living at home with less responsibility.
apprenticeships results

Feedback from our Impact Partner

Thank you very much to Alison Scowen, Senior Public Affairs Manager at the Co-Operative, who commented on this topic.

“Our partnership with Votes for Schools has enabled the Co-op to engage with nearly 25,000 students on a key public policy issue, apprenticeships. By working together we have been able to raise students understanding of apprenticeships but also take their views direct to policy makers. The highlight was a roundtable in Parliament where four students presented the vote results – calling for an end to the apprenticeship rate - to Robbie Moore MP, Parliamentary Private Secretary at the Department for Education. Robbie, in turn, has promised to raise the issue directly with Ministers at the Department for Education.”