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Student News

Subway advertises for Sandwich Artist ‘apprenticeship’ on government website

Subway has created a Sandwich Artist apprenticeship that lets them pay young staff below minimum wage - and it looks like the government support it.
subway sandwichCredit: Mike Mozart - flickr
Think you’ve got what it takes to become a professional Sandwich Artist at one of the UK's favourite fast food chains?

Well, don’t be fooled by the fancy name, as this new ‘apprenticeship’ is essentially just a job working at Subway - but in exchange for getting paid less than the under-18 minimum wage, you’ll receive a Level 2 Diploma in food production and cookery. Sound like a good deal?

The job, which is even advertised on the government's official apprenticeship job page, offers a salary of just £119 per week for a 35-hour week, and a contract commitment that lasts 14 months.

However, if you were to walk into Subway, hand over your CV and get the job this way instead, you’d legally have to be paid at least 65p an hour more, as £4.00 is the legal minimum wage for under 18s.

What does it take to be a Sandwich Artist?

subway-employee-minCredit: Booledozer - Flickr
According to the vacancy on the website, the Sandwich Artist is an intermediate-level apprenticeship, meaning you’ll need 5 GCSE passes between C to A* including Maths and English to apply.

You'll also need to be...(their typos, not ours!)

Enthusiastic, energetic, and ambitious and have adesire to succeed. You need to behard-working and be willing to use your own initiative.

In addition to these requirements, you'll also need to be capable of understanding the Subway menu, be prepared to be "physically active" for most of your shifts and remember to greet customers with a "cheerful and helpful manner" and "always wear a smile."

Your duties as a Sandwich Artist (as detailed on the site) look suspiciously like the duties of a regular Subway employee, the only difference being that you get paid less.

How can they pay below minimum wage?

service industry jobs waitressWhilst minimum wage for anyone under the age of 18 is £4.00/hour (due to increase to £4.05 in April), apprenticeship salaries are lower, at £3.40 (due to increase to £3.50).

Salaries for apprenticeships are lower because it’s considered half way between studying and working - you learn a trade at the same time as earning some cash.

However, Subway’s choice to advertise their Sandwich Artist vacancy as an apprenticeship gives them permission to pay staff below minimum wage whilst having them do the same job as those benefitting from being paid the legal minimum.

Looking for a part-time job that actually pays? Check out our student job search tool, plus have a look at these awesome lesser-known options.

Katie Paterson

WRITTEN BY Katie Paterson

Katie Paterson is an accomplished writer from Glasgow. She studied English Literature at the University of Strathclyde, then went on to do a Research Masters in Literature at the University of Amsterdam. As Lead Editor for Save the Student, Katie has covered topics from career tips to ways to make money go further as a student.
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