Liberal Democrat business secretary Vince Cable has unveiled plans to boost apprenticeship wages, proposing to create a single national minimum wage for 16 to 17-year-olds in work and first year of apprentices.
The proposal to the Low Pay Commission (LPC) would see wages will rise from £2.73 to £3.79 an hour on current rates.
Vince Cable said: “The National Minimum Wage has successfully protected the incomes and jobs of the lowest paid workers in the UK. This year it will see the first above inflation rise in the minimum wage since the recession. Thanks to the Lib Dems, apprenticeships are helping to create a stronger economy and opportunities for young people. I want the minimum pay for apprentices boosted by £1 an hour.”
Stewart Segal of AELP commented: “The Association of Employment and Learning Providers is currently developing its own response to the Low Pay Commission and many apprentice training providers believe that that there is some justification for a significant increase in the apprentice rate. But the apprentice rate should not be increased to the point where it adversely affects employer recruitment. There is also a case that adult apprentices over the age of 24 should not be on an apprentice rate at all, i.e. they should at least be on the national minimum wage. We will be considering carefully the full implications of today’s announcement before making our LPC submission.”