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I work as a level 4 software engineer apprentice in a small team for a large company. I am currently on a degree apprentice course which should last roughly 2 and a half more years.

I have been with the company for 5 years and perform a full role the same as the other team members. I am treated like and have the same expectations\workload as each of them.

We used to have 8 members of the team, recently two of the team members have left and it is openly known throughout the team that another will shortly also be leaving. Additionally, one of the other team members is still in training and does not contribute at all to the workload, there are no signs he will be ready shortly as he is making no progress despite being in the role 4 years.

When we had 8 members, the workload was already high in both support and development activities. Once the other team member leaves, we will be be expected to continue the same performance and workload as the team of 8 did with only 4 team members (3 + 1 trainee realistically).

There are currently no plans to replace the leaving team members as upper management are try to meet their profit quota's.

Given the above situation, I feel that this is a change in my role which I should be compensated for. I will be expected to take on greater responsibility and workload for the same pay. Is it reasonable to ask for greater compensation? Or is this likely to fail due to my status as an apprentice?

I appreciate any feedback or experience on this.

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  • Have you asked the team members, whom have already left and the one leaving, what their reasons for leaving are? Because there's a realistic chance they're leaving for the same reason you will be: they got a "no" on the raise question. (and someone's been there 4 years and is not contributing? wow) – rkeet Jul 23 '20 at 13:12
  • Does this answer your question? How should I properly approach my boss if I'm feeling underpaid? – gnat Jul 23 '20 at 13:15
  • @rkeet The other team members left for various reasons, one had a promotion internally, one changed careers completely, and the other is retiring. (As for the other team member, well nobody knows how he is still around, management seem to thing he will just start getting it any time now... he won't...) – DynamicPeanuts Jul 23 '20 at 14:55
  • If your responsibilities have changed, don't ask for a raise - ask for a promotion. You already mentioned profit as a motivator for not back-filling. So more money without a promotion is unlikely. – Joel Etherton Jul 23 '20 at 15:45
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I feel that this is a change in my role which I should be compensated for.

Your feeling is good. Just be polite and professional. Explain that the amount of work expected is significantly higher, and you expect that the compensation is raised accordingly. Be prepared to tell your boss the percentage of raise you expect.

If upper management wants profit quotas, you as an individual should want a share of that too (even though you should not tell that to your manager).


As a backup solution, polish your CV and submit it to other companies, which look attractive to you. Just in case, you know...

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