BIS Apprenticeship Pay Survey

The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) needed research to help inform the Low Pay Commission’s annual National Minimum Wage reports, which make recommendations to government on the national minimum wage rates, including those for apprentices.

How did IFF illuminate the facts with research?

IFF Research conducted the Apprenticeship Pay Survey (APS) in 2016 and 2014 for BIS, each large-scale quantitative study involving over 9,000 interviews with apprentices conducted in an eight-week period.

The research needed very detailed, robust, up-to-date information on the pay levels of apprentices across the UK, analysable by level of apprenticeship, framework/standard, age, and year of the apprenticeship.

Detailed testing and piloting of the questionnaire led to improvements compared with previous APS studies, including encouraging the use of payslips by respondents, and collecting much more detailed information on the constituent elements of pay (basic pay, overtime, tips, bonuses and so on). Careful sampling ensured results were representative, while at the same time enabling analysis by key variables.

The Low Pay Commission’s 2015 National Minimum Wage report also used pay data from the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE), but focused ‘primarily on our APS data as the more detailed and ultimately authoritative source.’ The survey findings have contributed to the government’s response to the LPC’s proposals on minimum wage rates.

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