More apprentices not receiving minimum wage under coalition

The proportion of apprentices not receiving the National Minimum Wage has risen from 20 per cent in 2011 to 29 per cent in 2012.

The proportion of apprentices not receiving the National Minimum Wage has risen from 20 per cent in 2011 to 29 per cent in 2012

Despite plans unveiled at Lib Dem conference by business secretary Vince Cable to give the lowest-paid apprentices a £1.06 an hour pay rise, figures suggest that under the coalition the number of apprentices not receiving the minimum wage has actually risen.

Cable’s proposal is supported by the Conservatives and could come into effect next October.

Yet in answer to a recent Parliamentary question from shadow business secretary Chuka Umunna, it was revealed that the proportion of apprentices not receiving the National Minimum Wage has risen from 20 per cent in 2011 to 29 per cent in 2012.

Commenting on Vince Cable’s announcement, Labour shadow minister for universities, science and skills Liam Byrne said “You can’t trust a word the Lib Dems say”.

“Under this government the number of young people taking apprenticeships is falling while more than a quarter of apprentices are not receiving the apprentice minimum wage. Ministers need to get a grip and ensure the rules are properly enforced,” he added.

Figures this summer revealed that the number of apprenticeship starts for young people had fallen by more than 11,000 since the coalition came to power, with securing an apprenticeship now twice as hard as getting a place at university.

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