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Minimum wage for apprenticeships is a welcome step - Farron

October 9, 2014 4:17 PM

Tim at GilkesSouth Lakes MP Tim Farron has welcomed the news that a National Minimum Wage could be created for apprentices.

Plans to boost pay for thousands of apprentices have been unveiled by Liberal Democrat business secretary Vince Cable. Tim has been lobbying on the issue after it was raised with him by local apprentices.

A proposal to create a single national minimum wage for 16 to 17-year-olds in work and first year of apprentices will be presented to the Low Pay Commission (LPC).

It would mean around 31,000 apprentices in the first year of their programme will benefit from a pay rise of more than £1 an hour.

Tim hopes the move would encourage more young people to take up an apprenticeship.

Tim 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 local businesses and our campaigning, 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.

"I have been pressing for the creation of 'good' apprenticeships - ones that lead to a job at the end of it. I am also calling on the public sector to take the lead and raise their pay to the adult national minimum wage for their apprenticeships."

The proposal to the LPC would see wages will rise from £2.73 to £3.79 an hour on current rates. This will also help employers by simplifying pay structures.

In June 2014, Vince asked the LPC to consider whether the structure of the apprentice rate could be simplified to ensure apprentices get paid the right wage.

The LPC will make their recommendations, alongside the 2015 national minimum wage rates, in the Spring of 2015.

Government will then decide on any changes to the structure, based on the LPC's recommendations.