Vince Cable to bolster apprenticeship pay
Originally published by UK Liberal Democrats
Plans to boost pay for thousands of apprentices have been unveiled by Liberal Democrat business secretary Vince Cable.
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.
Vince Cable hoped the move would encourage more young people to take up an apprenticeship.
He 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."
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.