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Apprenticeships and benefits

Read our guide to apprenticeships and benefits

1. What is an apprenticeship?

An apprenticeship is a type of employment where you get paid time to do training and which leads at the end of the apprenticeship to a qualification.

As an apprentice you are treated as an employee and have all the same employment rights as other employees.

Apprentices under the age of 19 and all apprentices in their first year of their apprenticeship are subject to a lower National Minimum Wage rate.

2. Can apprentices claim benefits?

Yes, apprentices are eligible to claim benefits. Which benefits you might be entitled to will depend on your circumstances. If you are over 18, you can use our Benefits Calculator to see what help you might be entitled to. If you are under 18, read our guide on Young People and Benefits.

3. How will apprenticeship earnings be treated?

Your earnings from your apprenticeship will be treated just the same as earnings from any other kind of employment. They will be taken into account when working out how much benefit you’re entitled to.

4. Apprentices: Work-related requirements under Universal Credit

If you are getting Universal Credit you will be asked to agree a claimant commitment.

If you are doing an apprenticeship for more than 30 hours a week, you shouldn’t be asked to do any work-related activity. This means you won’t need to look for more work or have meetings at the Jobcentre.

If you have childcare or caring responsibilities or an illness or disability that would make it hard for you to work 30 hours, you might not have to do any work-related activity even if your apprenticeship is less than 30 hours per week.

You can read more about the different work-related activity groups in our Universal Credit guide.

If you are doing an apprenticeship for less than 30 hours a week and you aren’t in any of the groups that are allowed to work fewer hours, you might be asked by your work coach to do work-related activity. You should try to negotiate with your work coach to explain that your apprenticeship will help you to find more and better work in the future.
 

5. Will I get Child Benefit if my child is doing an apprenticeship?

In England, Scotland and Northern Ireland, you won’t be able to get Child Benefit for a child over 16 who is doing an apprenticeship.

In Wales, you will be able to get Child Benefit for a child over 16 who is doing a trainee or foundation apprenticeship.