Apprentice minimum wage to go up 20%

The Prime Minister and the Deputy Prime Minister have announced that the National Minimum Wage for apprentices will increase by 57p an hour to £3.30 effective from October 2015.

This is the largest ever increase in the National Minimum Wage for apprentices and will halve the gap with the National Minimum Wage rate for 16 to 17 year olds, which will be £3.87 an hour from October 2015. The government will also launch a consultation with businesses on the future of the National Minimum Wage rate for apprentices.

The government is also putting employers in control of the funding for apprenticeships by introducing a new digital apprenticeship voucher. Apprenticeship vouchers will further simplify things for employers and give them the purchasing power over the government contribution to apprenticeship funding.

The employer would register their details on a system being developed by the Skills Funding Agency including their type of business, the details of the apprentice and the apprenticeship standard being signed up to. The discounted rate, which could be up to 100% for 16 to 18 year olds, at which employers can purchase training would be calculated and the employer would be able to pass on the voucher code to the provider that is delivering the training for their apprentice. The provider would then reclaim the value of the voucher from the Skills Funding Agency.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said: “This is just one of the many ways in which we’ve created a fairer society whilst building a stronger economy. If you work hard, this government is behind you all the way. Whether you’re on low pay or starting your dream career through an apprenticeship, you will get more support to help you go further and faster.”