As we break into summer, a lot is concentrating our minds at GBN.
UK: More money for apprentices
Pat McFadden, the UK business minister, has announced plans to establish a minimum wage of £2.50 an hour for apprentices who are under 19 or older than 19 but in the first year of their apprenticeship.
The minimum wage for 18 to 20-year-olds will go up by 1.9%, or 9p, to £4.92 an hour and that for 16 and 17-year-olds will increase by 2%, or 7p, to £3.64.
While the Low Pay Commission welcomed the new protection for apprentices, the general secretary of the Unison union, Dave Prentis, criticised the move as being “nowhere near enough.”
Many business organisations which are unhappy about the increase in the national minimum wage support helping apprentices in this manner. However, a spokesperson for the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development criticised the increase for acting as a potential “tax on jobs” when combined with the planned rise in employers’ National Insurance contributions.