Just finished school and about to start an apprenticeship? Here’s what you need to know!

You’ll be an employee with a contract of employment so it’s important to know your rights — and we can help with that!

Your employer should contact you before you start, so find out your working hours, dress code and what you need to bring, ID etc.

You’ll get an email invitation to create an account on the My apprenticeship service where you can review and confirm your apprenticeship details. Visit  gov.uk for more information.

Your formal apprenticeship agreement will set out what date your apprenticeship starts, when it will end, the skill or trade, and the training or college element.

It should also tell you what you’ll be paid, and how many hours you’ll work a week. At least 20 per cent of your working time will be spent doing ‘off-the-job training’ at a college, university or online at your place of work.

What you earn depends on the type of apprenticeship you choose. If you’re aged 16 to 18 or in the first year of your apprenticeship and have a formal agreement, you’re entitled to the apprentice rate.

If you’re 19 or over and have completed the first year of your apprenticeship, you’re entitled to the National Minimum Wage. Many employers pay a more competitive rate.

Check our website for more information about the Minimum Wage.

If you’re under 18 then you shouldn’t be asked to work more than 40 hours a week or eight hours a day. Your employer is allowed to ask you to work for longer in exceptional circumstances but your education or training shouldn’t be affected by this.

If you’re over 18, the limit rises to 48 hours a week on average.  You can sign an agreement to opt out of the maximum weekly time limit. But that’s your decision.

The law says workers should get 5.6 weeks’ holiday each year. Your employer might give you more than this but it’s up to them so check your contract.

You can contact Citizens Advice North Herts via northhertscab.org.uk and Citizens Advice Stevenage via stevenagecab.org.uk. The Herts adviceline number is 0800 144 88 48.