One In Four National Minimum Wage Underpayments Involve Apprentices

Data from HMRC reveals that one in four national minimum wage underpayments involves apprentices. Here's how TOTUM helps to support apprentices with day to day costs...

Written byHolly Barrow
Published on
Read time3 min read

The fight for fair wages has been a longstanding battle in the UK, with apprentices in particular often having to deal with the repercussions of low pay. 

For years, campaigners have been fighting for better pay and working conditions for apprentices, with many highlighting how the current system - which sees apprentices paid as little as £5.28 per hour - is exploitative and too low to cover basic living costs. 

Even with the planned pay rise to £6.40 per hour in April, campaigners fear this will not suffice in light of the ongoing cost of living crisis. A large gap will still remain between the apprentice minimum wage and the national minimum wage rates for 18 to 20 year olds, which will rise to £8.60. 


Last year, the Youth Voice Census report found that low pay is the biggest barrier to young people wanting to take up apprenticeships and plays a significant role in the swathes of apprentices who drop out before they complete their programme. 

To make matters worse, recent data from HMRC reveals that a staggering one in four cases of national minimum wage underpayments involve apprentices. This revelation sheds light on a critical issue that threatens the financial stability and future prospects of those entering the workforce through apprenticeship schemes.

In light of these revelations and with National Apprenticeship Week here, HMRC is hosting two webinars to educate employers on the importance of ensuring apprentices are paid correctly. 

But in the meantime, how can apprentices keep costs as low as possible given the current economic climate?

We’re here to help support apprentices as much as we can - here’s how… 

How can TOTUM help apprentices?


As an apprentice, we know you likely rely heavily on your wage to cover living expenses and other essentials, and that you're also typically on a lower income due to the fact you're still officially ‘in training’. 

While we know the importance of apprentices being paid a decent wage (and most critically being paid correctly!), we’re here to help keep day to day costs as low as possible with our hundreds of incredible discounts and offers from leading retailers, whether that means saving on a new tech purchase, travel or fashion

TOTUM Apprentice Extra is the only discount card for apprentices in the UK and comes with a whole lot of perks, including access to hundreds of discounts that would typically only be accessible to students, PASS proof of age ID, and a FREE 12-month tastecard for every years’ TOTUM membership you purchase. 

With tastecard, you’ll get 2 for 1 dining or 25% off the bill at thousands of restaurants, 50% off pizza delivery at Domino’s, Pizza Hut and Papa John’s and 25% off barista-made drinks at your favourite coffee shops with Coffee Club. 

TOTUM can also support apprentices through TOTUM Cashback, which helps you to earn money each time you shop with hundreds of retailers such as M&S, Asda, Sainsbury’s, John Lewis, Primark, Waterstones and more.

Just think - this could help you to earn a little cash back each time you do your grocery shopping!

From cheaper takeaways and dining out with tastecard to generous discounts from the likes of Boots, ASOS, Samsung, Jet2 and more, TOTUM Apprentice helps you to live your best life for less.

Join the TOTUM club!

Join TOTUM Student for FREE to access hundreds of student discounts on big-name brands like ASOS, Apple, MyProtein, boohoo, Samsung, and more!

Sign up for FREE, download the TOTUM app, and enjoy the latest offers, vouchers, coupons and more at your fingertips. Find out more.

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