The National Minimum Wage is to increase by 12p from October, the government announced today.
It will now stand at £6.31 an hour from 1st October 2013 after business secretary Vince Cable confirmed the rise, a figure of 1.9%.
The rate for 18 to 20-year-olds will rise by 5p to £5.03 and by 4p to £3.72 for 16 and 17-year-olds, following recommendations made by the Low Pay Commission.
Hourly rates for apprentices have also increased by 3p to £2.68 an hour, after ministers rejected the LPC’s calls to freeze them, the only proposal discarded by the government.
The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills also upped the accommodation offset rate from £4.82 to £4.91.
EEF’s head of employment policy Tim Thomas welcomed the news.
“Today’s announcement on the National Minimum Wage strikes a delicate balance between the need for an element of pay progression and the limitations employers face in accommodating pay rises,” he said.
“The modest increase in the Apprenticeship rate is unlikely to negatively affect apprenticeship recruitment and of much greater importance is the raising of apprenticeships standards, better information and advice to students and ensuring that apprenticeships are truly employer-led and employer-driven,” he added.
The chair of the Low Pay Commission, David Norgrove, said: “We do not want to damage the employment prospects of young people and the lower rise for them than for adults should further increase the relative attractiveness of young people to employers.”