The government has accepted a recommendation from the Low Pay Commission (LPC) to introduce an apprentice minimum wage of £2.50 per hour.
The new rate will apply to: – apprentices under 19
– apprentices aged 19 and over, but in the first year of their apprenticeship Individuals in these categories were previously exempt from the National Minimum Wage. For those over the age of 18 who have completed their first year, the current minimum wage for their age group applies. – £5.80 an hour for workers aged 22 and over (The adult National Minimum Wage)
– £4.83 an hour for 18-21 year olds
– £3.57 an hour for 16-17 year olds These rates will increase in October 2010 by approximately 2%. Please note that the government has extended the adult minimum wage rate to include 21-year-olds (previously the qualifying age for the NMW was 22) The new rates will be as follows: – £5.93 an hour for workers aged 21 and over (adult rate)
– £4.92 an hour for workers aged 18 to 20
– £3.64 an hour for workers aged 16 to 17
The introduction of the apprentice minimum wage should not have too great an effect on the amount that BWF members pay their apprentices – according to our most recent Pay and Conditions Survey, members are already paying their 1st year apprentices more than the £2.50p/hour rate and a 2007 government report found that the average net weekly earnings of an apprentice in the construction sector was £174 (although this was heavily dependent on the year of their apprenticeship). Apprentices on Learning and Skills Council contracts are required to be paid at least £95 per week.
The business minister Pat McFadden said: “I’m glad to see the Low Pay Commission recognising the significant contribution that apprentices make to the economy. I hope this will encourage more people to take advantage of this opportunity and invest in their skills by taking up an apprenticeship.”