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Apprentices given biggest ever wage increase today

The Government has implemented the largest pay rise to British apprentices with those working 40 hours a week now set to earn £1,185 more a year.

The National Minimum Wage (NMW) for those on apprenticeship schemes has risen by 57 pence to £3.30 from today. In addition, adult workers earning minimum wage will also see their hourly rates rise from £6.50 to £6.70 an hour.

As a result, youngsters seeking an alternative to A levels and university can now train for a new career and receive a minimum of £132 for a 40-hour week.

By implementing a rate higher than the Low Pay Commission’s (LPC) recommendation, apprenticeships will now be handed a wage comparable with other choices for work.

Sajid Javid, Business Secretary, said: “As a one nation Government we are making sure that every part of Britain benefits from our growing economy and today more than 1.4 million of Britain’s lowest-paid workers will be getting a well-deserved pay rise.

“The increase for apprentices is the largest in history, making sure that apprenticeships remain an attractive option for young people.

“While the National Minimum Wage will see the largest real-terms increase since 2007.”

The National Minimum Wage for adult workers is now closer to the average UK wage than ever before.

Martin Doel, chief executive, Association of Colleges, said: “The increase to the minimum wage for apprentices is very welcome in recognising the value that apprentices provide to employers and in recognising the costs that many apprentices have in transport and living costs.

“It makes the apprenticeship route still more attractive to young people seeking to earn while they learn.”

A spokesperson for the Association of Employment and Learning Providers, also welcomes the move but wants employers to continue to buy into apprenticeship programmes despite the increased costs.

“We recommended narrowing the gap between the apprenticeship and NMW rates but we need to ensure that this is done in stages.

“We have to ensure that increases in the apprenticeship rate do not have an impact on the number of employers providing these apprenticeship places by ensuring that the programme is properly funded in the sectors where the minimum wage is an issue.”

Image: The Co-operative

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