If you are planning on taking an apprenticeship it is worth knowing your rights. Many of the rights you have as an apprentice are the same as those for regular employees – such as being given a written contract of employment when you start. However, other rights are more specific to apprentices, such as being given time away from work to attend formal training.
Mixing real work experience with dedicated training and the chance to learn and work alongside experts are all part of the positives of taking an apprenticeship, and while your tuition is all paid for you, you should also expect to receive a wage as you work to qualify in your chosen apprenticeship.
So, if you are taking an apprenticeship already, or considering one, it is worth knowing your rights as an apprentice. Here is a list of what you are entitled to as an apprentice – of which some are the same as what you could expect with any regular job, while others are specific to you as an apprentice:
- A written contract of employment.
- A full induction into the workplace.
- A training plan or contract between yourself, the employer, and the training provider.
- Pay (at least the apprentice minimum wage)
- A safe working environment and protection from discrimination or bullying.
- Release from work to attend formal training.
- Provision of an appropriate range of work experiences to enable you to complete your qualifications.
- Access to support, guidance, and mentoring.
- Quality training.
- Regular assessments and review of progress.
- Sufficient time away from work to study during work time.
- A chance to learn while you earn – to get real work experience as you work towards your qualification.
- The opportunity to gain nationally recognised qualifications.
- Access to progression routes to higher education (where appropriate).
- The possibility of long-term employment with promotion prospects (once qualified).
- A chance to learn from experienced workers in the sector.
As an apprentice you should expect the same rights as any other employee – from your contract to being treated with respect at work. You are not there as a source of cheap labour, and you should be learning as you earn so that you can do the job you are training for once you qualify.
If there are any problems with your apprenticeship you should be able to speak to your training provider, but at the same time you will also be expected to work just like any other employee. You contract of employment should tell you exactly what is expected of you and what you can expect in return, so make sure to read it through when you start your apprenticeship.
There are a few scare stories doing the rounds about poor quality apprenticeships, but you do have rights and should be able to expect your apprenticeship to be a rewarding experience that sets you up for the future.
You can find out more about apprenticeships right here on NotgoingToUni, as well as search to see if there are any opportunities that would suit you. Alternatively, if you are unsure what you want to do next, you might like a little career inspiration!