The government has announced that the minimum wage in the UK will be increasing by 3% from October onwards, taking it up by 20p an hour to £6.70. The rates were first recommended in February by the Low Pay Commission, and, since 2008, is the largest real-term increase.
The Low Pay Commission also recommended that the rates for apprentices rise by 2.6% to £2.80, but the government did not agree with this, to which David Norgrove, the chair of the Low Pay Commission, expressed his disappointment, stating that his recommendations were aimed at not only providing financial benefits to apprentices, but also ensuring that the supply of places was kept protected. Instead, they will be giving apprentices a 20% rise of 57p an hour, bringing their minimum wage to £3.30, which is the largest wage increase ever seen for apprentices. The rate for 16 and 17 year olds will increase by 2.2% to £3.87 an hour, whilst the rate for 18-20 year olds will be raised by 3.3%, taking it to £5.30 an hour.
The government also plans to consult with businesses on the future of the minimum wage rates when it comes to apprentices, and introduce a digital apprenticeship voucher, simplifying the process for employers when hiring new apprentices.
David Cameron announced that these new wage rises are at the centre of his long term economic plan for the country, and will allow hard working taxpayers to enjoy an extra reward, providing more long term security for their families.