Apprenticeships? Hidden exploitation.. Watch

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I strongly feel apprenticeships get such a better reputation than they deserve. I mean the fact is people seem to think it is ok to get around £50.00 a week for 40 hours work?

I can understand it in some proffessions but the majority I just see it as a way to pay people little and exploit them. I know someone who is on an administration "Apprenticeship" and gets paid around £50.00 per week or something similar to learn something she even admitted doesn't need an apprenticeship. Just a snide way to rip school leavers off and exploit them by paying them extremely little. I also saw Tesco customer service or retail assistant apprenticeship schmes and thought this is terrible as they could easily learn that and they're just getting ripped off on like £1.50 per hour...

No doubt with the school age raising to 18 (for people to be in education or training) and and people not allowed to work at, for example supermarkets when they leave as this is not counted as "training" they will just work at the same places but go on an apprenticeship and do the same thing only get a heck of a lot less for it and maybe do some BTEC on the side to stop them from seeing the exploitation. No doubt employers will love the school age raising so they can exploit 16-18 year olds in particular. I could also see other companies thinking this is a good idea due to the fact there are many highly qualified people who havent got jobs to match these I could honestly see some kind of "graduate apprenticeship scheme" which makes my heart week a little as when people graduate with 9K per year tuition fees, living costs probably 50K in debt or maybe more they may end up on £50.00 per week. Disgusting.

Anyone else agree?
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Darkphilosopher
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To be fair, whoever is supervising them will have to give up some of their own time (and thus theoretically costing the company money) to teach the apprentice however I do agree that it is an exploitation of those in training.

I suppose on the other side, people are being paid to recieve specialist training, doctors for example spend years gaining specialist training. I'm sure they'd be over the moon if they were getting paid for it as well.

As long as the trainee gains something of relevence at the end of it, I suppose it is OK.
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hothedgehog
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£50 a week does sound terrible. I understand that they have to be trained but the cost of their course (an approximated one that's reasonable) should be deducted from the wage they were getting if they were a junior worker at the company (although perhaps a little less) weekly over the period of the training. That way they'd be paying for their learning but the work they were doing would be paid for.

Isn't there some kind of minimum wage issue with apprenticeships?
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garethDT
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(Original post by my_username_was_taken)
I strongly feel apprenticeships get such a better reputation than they deserve. I mean the fact is people seem to think it is ok to get around £50.00 a week for 40 hours work?

I can understand it in some proffessions but the majority I just see it as a way to pay people little and exploit them. I know someone who is on an administration "Apprenticeship" and gets paid around £50.00 per week or something similar to learn something she even admitted doesn't need an apprenticeship. Just a snide way to rip school leavers off and exploit them by paying them extremely little. I also saw Tesco customer service or retail assistant apprenticeship schmes and thought this is terrible as they could easily learn that and they're just getting ripped off on like £1.50 per hour...

No doubt with the school age raising to 18 (for people to be in education or training) and and people not allowed to work at, for example supermarkets when they leave as this is not counted as "training" they will just work at the same places but go on an apprenticeship and do the same thing only get a heck of a lot less for it and maybe do some BTEC on the side to stop them from seeing the exploitation. No doubt employers will love the school age raising so they can exploit 16-18 year olds in particular. I could also see other companies thinking this is a good idea due to the fact there are many highly qualified people who havent got jobs to match these I could honestly see some kind of "graduate apprenticeship scheme" which makes my heart week a little as when people graduate with 9K per year tuition fees, living costs probably 50K in debt or maybe more they may end up on £50.00 per week. Disgusting.

Anyone else agree?
Absolutely agree. To think that if you do a degree you have already missed out on 5/6 years when you could have been earning but instead are in £18k debt and then when you finally think you can start to pay your way you get told that you can only get a look in on your chosen profession for £50 a week?! It's absurd, clear exploitation.

No one's expecting graduates to get top salaries straight away but I think if you are doing actual work, rather than just shadowing, then you should receive the minimum wage as an absolute minimum.

You are right about raising the school age, it's got nothing to do with education and everything to do with exploitation. It will mean 16-18 year olds no longer feature in unemployment figures, they won't be able to claim benefits and won't be able to earn a wage either, essentially treating them as second class citizens, the same way we treat asylum seekers.
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my_username_was_taken
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(Original post by hothedgehog)
£50 a week does sound terrible. I understand that they have to be trained but the cost of their course (an approximated one that's reasonable) should be deducted from the wage they were getting if they were a junior worker at the company (although perhaps a little less) weekly over the period of the training. That way they'd be paying for their learning but the work they were doing would be paid for.

Isn't there some kind of minimum wage issue with apprenticeships?

For the majority of jobs I do not believe the people are that incapable to do work which benefits the company and take that much tuition. It isn't like they are being taught it for hours on end-when that needs to be done they are sent to college for a half day a week or whatever which as the next poster said shouldn't be paid but maybe taken from the salary but apart from that they should get a more fair wage.

(Original post by Darkphilosopher)
To be fair, whoever is supervising them will have to give up some of their own time (and thus theoretically costing the company money) to teach the apprentice however I do agree that it is an exploitation of those in training.

I suppose on the other side, people are being paid to recieve specialist training, doctors for example spend years gaining specialist training. I'm sure they'd be over the moon if they were getting paid for it as well.

As long as the trainee gains something of relevence at the end of it, I suppose it is OK.
Agreed.

(Original post by garethDT)
Absolutely agree. To think that if you do a degree you have already missed out on 5/6 years when you could have been earning but instead are in £18k debt and then when you finally think you can start to pay your way you get told that you can only get a look in on your chosen profession for £50 a week?! It's absurd, clear exploitation.

No one's expecting graduates to get top salaries straight away but I think if you are doing actual work, rather than just shadowing, then you should receive the minimum wage as an absolute minimum.

You are right about raising the school age, it's got nothing to do with education and everything to do with exploitation. It will mean 16-18 year olds no longer feature in unemployment figures, they won't be able to claim benefits and won't be able to earn a wage either, essentially treating them as second class citizens, the same way we treat asylum seekers.
Exactly! Every job people went into at 16 and got minimum wage will have the word "apprenticeship" before it allowing them to get paid far less for the same work. Many of these (statistically) will be from disadvantaged backgrounds so the pressure they put on their families and how hard it must be is certainly not fair at all.
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Mrfq340
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Some people don't know their rights http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/Employme...ge/DG_10027201

2.50 on an average 37.5 hour week is £93.75.
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diddy2480
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yeah most apprenticeships come as standard minimum of 95 a week and at 16/17 even 18 its good,, it offers employers money to take on apprentices and gives them a standing job to progress into.... its what i like to call win win
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oletha
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I completely agree that apprenticeships are exploiting young people.

I'm on a 'business administration' apprenticeship for a small business and I get paid £100 a week. The original wage was the minimum £95 but at the end of my first week I was told I had picked things up well so would get an extra £5 a week, which I was pleased with considering I'd only been there one week. I work 40 hours a week including an hour for lunch every day (unpaid) so my hourly wage works out at £2.86/hour.

On top of administration, I'm also expected to clean the whole building, wash up peoples' dirty mugs, edit videos to a professional standard and have in the past been asked to create a (reasonably complicated, considering my job and complete lack of business education) spreadsheet to analyse marketing data. (It worked, but they decided not to use it in favour of a monthly subscription website... Time wasted...)

I've been asked to complete my training outside of work hours. After doing the first part, I learnt that employees have a right to be paid for work-related training and brought this up with my boss, who asked what my hourly rate was and was completely taken aback when I told him and said that that was a ridiculous wage, even though he's the one who transfers the money into my account himself and he didn't offer me any more money, but begrudgingly agreed to pay me the money for the extra hours.

Anyone doing my job without the 'training' would be getting paid almost double (I'm 18 so am not in the highest minimum wage band yet) and you might argue that I'll get a qualification out of it at the end of the year but the point of the apprenticeship is that all the modules are part of your job anyway so even if I wasn't doing any training, I'd still be doing the same things.

Sure, I'm grateful for the job since I didn't have any previous work experience, but I know how to behave in a workplace - it's not rocket science. I don't think I should be financially crippled for not having had a job before. I'm not making enough money to break even on my living expenses (reduced rent (living with my mum), food, petrol, car maintenance...) let alone including anything I do for leisure. (meals out, games, films...)

I'm not a hoodie on the street, never have been or intended to be, I don't drink or smoke... Seems like they have it better off, with their child benefits and jobseeker's allowance though eh?
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charlotte-rose
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It's not hidden, it's been happening and recognised for years worldwide.
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natnoo64
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I could'n t agree more. I've seen basic jobs being passed off as apprenticeship. the most ridiculous one I've seen is an retail assistant apprentice (seriously) these employers just want cheap labour, the £2.50 nmw is just to attract employers to take on apprentices since theres hardly any out there in the job market. I'm meant to be on an apprenticeship at the moment in fashion & textiles and I used to think it was a better alternative to higher education and a good preperation for it but since I started this apprenticeship 5 months ago I have'nt even been working for an employer, I've just been attending their 1 day a week study classes at the company workshop when its meant to be in college, my tutor keeps stringing me along about how there waiting for other employers to accept and take on apprentices and its been that same story for 5 months and its gonna be summer break in a matter of weeks, the people I know actually doing the apprenticeship are just working for these fashion companies doing admin and receptionist roles which they've even complained about as their not learning or doing anything related to this apprenticeship and are just doing the same thing as any general office assistant. I mean why am I wasting my time with these people who cant even find me an employer to work for and the people employed arent doing anything fashion related in their job and pretty much hate it for working full time for £100 a week (can anyone over the age of 20 live off that).
I've spent 5 months reading a silibus manual for my 1 day study and its pointless to read when your not even putting what you've learnt into the work place. how can I even be called a apprentice when Im not in employment, All I have is a student ID for college which I dont ever go to. I've already decided to quit the nonsence weeks ago but have to conciderd my options. There are probably people in similar or even wost situation being exploited in one way or another.
I think my only onption at 19 it to either go to uni and be in crippling debt ( and probably be less likely to get a mortgage), do another aprenticeship and get exploited or just get a job with no room for career progression.
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diddy2480
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I think people shouldnt take this as a warning and not a message to stay off them, i work for a wonderful engineering company and learn so much 200 a week starting, ling lunches and what not, but dont be diaheartened! Just be careful its an amazing route to take if you take the right one, and i am adament that the apprenticesgip program works in some induatries better than otgers good luck to all of you
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vicky_1234
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I used to earn £95 a week on a business admin apprenticeship as a receptionist for a charity. I don't receive any specialist training, I was just sat at a computer and I go along with it, doing odd jobs for people that have no relevance to my NVQ.

They've now gave me a year contract but am still employed as an apprentice, and get £585 a month, which still only works out as about £3.80 an hour :/ But I'm doing my NVQ level 3 so I don't think I should leave, because they're spending money on that.
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addylad
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No doubt there is exploitation, but not all employers will take advantage of their apprentices.
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Ebani9
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The Governments Apprenticeship programme (with a very low £2.50ph wage) is very questionable, especially as parent's of 16-19 year old apprentices are losing their Child Benefit and Tax Credits entitlements! An article you may find interesting: http://apprenticeship-info.blogspot.com.

Also, it is not just 16-19 year old apprentices that are being paid £2.50ph - even if you are 45 years of age and employed under the Governments apprenticeship programme, your employer only has to pay you £2.50 per hour!
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Delaney
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(Original post by Ebani9)
Also, it is not just 16-19 year old apprentices that are being paid £2.50ph - even if you are 45 years of age and employed under the Governments apprenticeship programme, your employer only has to pay you £2.50 per hour!
If you're doing the exact same job as someone else you should be paid the same, regardless of age, religeon, gender etc.
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addylad
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(Original post by Ebani9)
The Governments Apprenticeship programme (with a very low £2.50ph wage) is very questionable, especially as parent's of 16-19 year old apprentices are losing their Child Benefit and Tax Credits entitlements! An article you may find interesting: http://apprenticeship-info.blogspot.com.

Also, it is not just 16-19 year old apprentices that are being paid £2.50ph - even if you are 45 years of age and employed under the Governments apprenticeship programme, your employer only has to pay you £2.50 per hour!
How many 45-year-old apprentices are there?
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Ebani9
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Well, data shows that between April 2010 and March 2011 a total of 257,000 ADULT apprenticeships have so far been delivered. 2010-11 financial year 103,000 places have already been taken up.

"Government has trumped its own targets for the provision of adult apprenticeships providing reassurance that the up-skilling of older workers is not to play second fiddle to young recruits."
http://www.themanufacturer.com/uk/co...ips_sky-rocket

Sorry the other link I posted didn't work. The correct link about the apprenticeship scheme affecting parents entitlement to Child Benefit and Tax credits can be read here: http://apprenticeship-info.blogspot....ticeships.html
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Rosey203
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This isn't always true. I'm 17, doing a health and social care apprenticeship with the NHS. I get paid £244 a week and I honestly thing it's a great opportunity. The minimum £95 is poor yes but you're gaining the qualifications and experience that will help you gain better jobs at least.
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asmi6434
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I Decided not to go to college and get an apprenticeship after school. Big Mistake. I'm not an idiot and I went to private school (Im not up myself!) and got several A's and B's. I got an apprenticeship with an IT company near Middlesbrough.

It became obvious from day one that I was being used for ony £2.50 an hour. I was doing very boring and repetitive work and was basically treated like ****. The company basically threw me on the first NVQ course they could find which bore little relevance to my job. I hate every minute of it but recently worked up the courage to tell them what I think of them and walk out. This was like water off a duck's back. They easily found someone to replace me and that appears to be the end of it.

This was really frustrating and it is not just my apprenticeship - Ive heard many other stories and I think it is disgraceful. I shall never use it again. I'm not particularly left wing but believe that this kind of exploitation should not be allowed.

I am not saying that there are NO apprenticeships which actually care, but it does appear that the low wages are the main incentive for using the system but this really should not be the case.
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JKGB
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£95 a week is pretty horrible, but I wouldn't say that all apprenticeships are bad. My dad did an apprenticeship with a telecoms company after completing his HND and through that managed to work his way up until he became a project manager, so I think that apprenticeships do have some value to them and as long as the company is actually training them instead of using them for cheap labour.
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