News In Focus
Cable to push for minimum apprentice wage rise
The apprentice rate of the national minimum wage will rise to that for 16 and 17 year olds, if a proposal by Business Secretary Vince Cable is accepted by the Low Pay Commission.
Mr Cable is to announce to the Liberal Democrats' annual conference in Glasgow today that he is writing to the Commission recommending that the two rates are combined.
At present, 16 and 17 year olds are entitled to a minimum of £3.79 an hour, but the rate for apprentices is only £2.73. If accepted, the change would not take effect until next October, when the minimum hourly rates are next due to change. The Conservatives are understood to support the proposal.
Most apprentices earn more than the minimum, but it is estimated that about 31,000 people will gain from the new rate.