Subway's advert for an apprentice sandwich artist in Newcastle upon Tyne has been labelled "disgraceful" and just a "low pay scam".

People were shocked when the fast food giant posted the five-day-a-week job on Indeed recruitment site offering the £2.73 hourly pay rate.

Although the amount meets the legal National Minimum Wage requirement for apprentices, the move has been criticised by the public and trade union Unite as not being generous enough.

Shaun Noble, a spokesman from Unite, told IBTimes UK: "It is the bare minimum, so not very generous. Unite would advocate a boost to the national minimum wage as a stepping stone to the 'living wage'.

"More generally, we have concerns about 'bogus' apprenticeships when some employers use apprenticeships when the job is suitable for a more qualified person."

The requirements for the job include having a positive outlook, being able to interact with customers and being good at making sandwiches.

The apprenticeship will enable 16 to 18-year-olds to complete their Level 2 NVQ Diploma in Hospitality Services as well as gain functional skills in Level 1 English and Maths.

But members of the public could not resist taking to Twitter to criticise the "so-called" apprenticeship and its low pay package.

The Department of Business Innovation and Skills said there have been more than 2.1 million apprenticeships created since 2010.

And although they have been heralded as a big success for the coalition government, critics suggest they are more target-oriented rather than actively solving the long-term problem of developing skills in sectors outside the traditional apprentice sectors.

Some small and medium-sized companies (SMEs) also believe they will not be able to reap the benefits from the apprenticeship scheme because they simply cannot afford to hire youngsters in the first place.

In January, Michael Mercieca, chief executive of Young Enterprise, said: "We don't know the detail yet, but it could be that there is a cash disincentive for employers to take this on – at the moment colleges are doing that."

A spokesperson from Subway told IBTimes UK: "Subway stores are independently owned and operated by franchisees who are responsible for all employment matters. All Subway franchisees must comply with employment law in all dealings with employees."