Apprentices – Lib Dem promise

Liberal Democrats promise to increase pay for apprentices.

The Business Secretary, Vince Cable will, today, outline his plan for apprentices to receive higher pay

The press release is saying that the Liberal Democrats want the apprenticeship rate to equal the rate for 16 to 18 year olds, they state that the Conservatives back the plan and that it will mean apprentices will earn £3.79 by next October – an increase from the £2.73 that they are currently entitled to as a minimum wage.

This would mean that any apprentices on the national minimum rate will effectively get a 39% pay rise next October. However, looking at the polls I would think it is highly unlikely that the Lib Dems will be in power or have the ability to influence pay in the workplace. However, by raising the issue it may be that other parties take a look at the apprentice rate, which is a bit low, especially when you know that, in most cases, the training at college has been paid for and the employer is picking up a £1,500 grant for taking on the apprentice, and this amounts to around 18 weeks’ pay if apprentices are working the minimum 30 hours and are on the minimum pay.

It would appear that Mr Cable is going to write to the Low Pay Commission with a recommendation on reviewing the apprentice rate in the National Minimum Wage and combining it with the 16-18 rate. Full details on the National Minimum wage can be found by clicking here.

Alpha Law believe that apprentices form an important part of the UK workforce and that it is important that all apprentices are treated fairly and get their all of their employment rights. Apprentices are entitled to have an Apprenticeship Agreement which outlines the terms of their education and training as well as their work responsibilities. They are entitled to at least one paid day of recognised and approved training and they should be working for a minimum of 30 hours a week.

If any of the above is not happening or you have a problem at work, call the employment law experts at Alpha Law for confidential advice. Call on 0845 070 0505 (Please note: Calls to this number will cost approximately 4p per minute plus your telephone company’s access charge) to speak to an employment specialist.