Government calls for simplified apprentice wage rates

The Government has called on the Low Pay Commission to look at how wage rates for apprentices can be simplified so that they get the money they are entitled to.

Apprentice rates depend on age and how long someone has been on an apprenticeship, which can be difficult for employers to understand.

Adam Marshall, executive director of policy at the British Chambers of Commerce, said: “Asking the Low Pay Commission to look at ways to simplify the minimum wage rate for apprentices is sensible. Employers would welcome greater clarity, provided that any subsequent changes to apprentice wage rates are backed by robust evidence.”

TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said: “With figures suggesting that nearly a quarter of apprentices get paid less than the law says they should, we welcome moves to simplify the system. This would prevent employers who cheat their apprentices out of the minimum wage from using the excuse that they didn’t understand they had to pay it. There must be no hiding place for exploitative employers who pretend to take on staff as apprentices yet never offer them a single hour of training, just so they can source labour on the cheap.”