What is the average apprentice and school leaver salary?

Dec 19, 2023 | Apprentices & school leaver, Home Featured, Research

Latest apprentice and school leaver salaries are revealed in ISE’s Student Recruitment Survey 2023.

Salaries play a key role in attracting school and college leavers to jobs, and then ensuring that they accept the job offer.

Amid a cost-of-living crisis, this is an interesting time to look at salaries offered to people leaving school and college.

ISE’s Student Recruitment Survey 2023 analyses data from the latest recruitment season. It shows the typical (median) salary reported by ISE members this year was £22,000 for school and college leavers.

Salaries for this group have gradually increased since ISE started collecting the data in 2015 (£14,683) and this year there is a 5% increase from 2022.

This mark’s a higher year-on-year rise than salaries for graduates which increased 3% to £32,000.

Apprentice and school leaver salaries by sector

Salaries differ by sector. Those working in the built environment are among the lowest earners while school leavers going into law, finance or professional services can expect to take home some of the highest wages. For the first time digital and IT roles overtook law as the highest paid jobs.

Typical (median) salaries for school and college leavers by sector:

Built environment £18,500
Energy, engineering and industry £19,851
Retail and FMCG £20,900
Health and pharmaceuticals £21,000
Charity and public sector £21,591
Financial and professional services £22,420
Legal £23,000
Digital and IT £23,200

Apprentice and school leaver salaries by region

Salaries also vary significantly by region. Jobs in and around London and the South East are often the highest paid. Meanwhile school and college leavers working in Wales are among the lowest paid in the UK.

For the first time we looked at wages for remote workers – those not tied to a particular region. The median salary for this group was £21,753.

Median salaries for school and college leavers by region:

Wales £20,000
North West £21,000
West Midlands £21,000
North East £21,000
Yorkshire and Humberside £21,000
South West £21,250
East Midlands £21,350
Scotland £21,350
East of England £21,350
Northern Ireland £21,700
South East £21,700
London £23,775

ISE’s Student Recruitment Survey 2023 is available now. It includes more detail about how salaries have changed, the health of the market as well as recruitment strategies.

Read more data and insight on salaries for apprentices and graduates

You may also be interested in…

What is the average graduate salary?

What is influencing student career decisions right now?

7 ways to engage schools and school leavers

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