Apprentice exploitation needs to stop, says TUC General Secretary

Following the release of the Apprenticeship Pay Survey by the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills, the Trades Union Congress (TUC) has urged the government to take action to ensure apprentices are being paid the right amount.

Figures revealed that three in ten apprentices were paid under minimum wage in 2012, representing an increase of 45%.

TUC General Secretary Frances O’ Grady said: “These findings are shocking and show how many apprentices are currently seen as little more than cheap labour. Apprentice exploitation is getting worse across the board. This survey also reveals a number of systematic failures in the way apprenticeship pay is being monitored.

“There are plenty of bad bosses who have deliberately cheated young workers. And it appears many businesses do not understand how minimum wage rates work. Unless the government does more to make companies aware of their responsibilities, as well as naming, shaming and persecuting rogue employers, many apprentices will continue to be exploited.”