Government accepts recommendation to pay apprentices £2.50 an hour, while increasing rates for other workers

The government has announced that apprentices will receive a minimum wage for the first time.

A rate of £2.50 an hour has been recommended by the Low Pay Commission and will apply to apprentices who are under 19 or those that are aged 19 and over but in the first year of their apprenticeship.

This will affect about 25,000 young people undertaking apprenticeships.

The rate will come into froce from 1 October this year, as will new rates for other low-paid workers including:

  • £5.93 per hour for low paid workers aged 21 and over, increased from £5.80;
  • £4.92 per hour for 18-20 year olds, increased from £4.83; and
  • £3.64 per hour for 16-17 year olds, increased from £3.57.

Edward Davey, employment relations minister, said:
“The increases to the National Minimum Wage this year are appropriate for the economic climate. They will strike a balance between helping the lowest paid whilst at the same time not jeopardising their employment.
“The Low Pay Commission estimates that around 970,000 people stand to benefit from these increases.
“Workers on the National Minimum Wage are disproportionately likely to be employed by small firms and so it is right the Low Pay Commission considers their competitiveness when they make their recommendations for next year. SMEs will be vital to our economic recovery”.