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The Low Pay Commission (LPC) have recommended a rise in the minimum wage for apprentices of 7p per hour – but the Government has opted instead for an increase of 20% (57p) which would bring the minimum wage for apprentices up to £3.30 ph.

You may not know that when a young person, living at home chooses to study full time at school, for example A-levels or a vocational qualification, parents are still entitled to child benefit – however, a young person working as an apprentice in the household means that parents can no longer receive this benefit because their child is employed (remember, an apprenticeship is a job). Trivial perhaps, but for some families, this might be off-putting.The minimum wage for apprentices went up by 5p ph last October, to £2.73 and so, this further increase so soon will be seen by many as very welcome.

However, Katja Hall, deputy director-general of CBI, says that a minimum wage increase could lead to less opportunities. Hall warned,

“Companies already pay their share into training, so raising the cost of taking these young people on would be unwise and put off many smaller firms from getting involved.”

John Longworth, director general of British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), argued:

“Most businesses value their apprentices highly, and already pay them significantly above the apprenticeship minimum wage rate. For that reason the proposed change will have minimal impact on businesses bottom line, but it must be up to the Low Pay Commission (LPC) to make evidence-based recommendations to ensure that wage rates are right for market conditions.”

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