Low Pay Commission urges raising apprentice pay

Posted on 26 Sep 2014 by The Manufacturer

Britain’s manufacturers are calling for pay rise for apprentices by urging the Low Pay Commission (LPC) to scrap the current Apprentice Rate and, instead, align it to age-specific wage rates.

Responding to the Commission’s consultation on the National Minimum Wage (NMW) which closes today, EEF believes the current system is complex and confusing for employers and, has no impact on their recruitment plans for young people. As a result, the current rate is dismissed by employers who offer the market rate.

According to EEF, if the LPC adopts the recommendation all apprentices would see a significant pay increase; in particular under-19s and first year apprentices. For example, a first year apprentice would see their pay jump from £2.86 per hour to £5.03 per hour.

EEF is also calling on the Low Pay Commission to set out more clearly what it sees as the ultimate level of the NMW that they would wish to reach.

Commenting, EEF head of employment policy, Tim Thomas, said: “There is an opportunity to create some clear winners by abolishing the apprentice pay structure and replacing the Apprentice Rate with a learner’s age specific rate. Apprentices would see a significant boost to pay and employers will no longer be faced with a complex and confusing pay structure.”