Magazine article Public Finance

Apprenticeship Reforms 'Could Leave Youngsters Underpaid'

Magazine article Public Finance

Apprenticeship Reforms 'Could Leave Youngsters Underpaid'

Article excerpt

A draft Bill to boost the national apprenticeship scheme could leave youngsters underpaid, unions have warned.

Draft legislation announced in the Queen's Speech win reform the apprenticeship programme and is likely to include amendments to minimum wage regulations'on apprenticeships exemptions, according to a government briefing.

At the moment, apprentices under 19 are not entitled to the national minimum wage, nor are those over 19 who are in the first year of their apprenticeship.

The Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills was unable to provide any details on the planned changes, but the Association of Teachers and Lecturers raised concerns.

Acting deputy general secretary Martin Johnson said: 'We are not happy about the Implications of changes to the minimum wage regulations for those on apprenticeships. Those who are working should be fairly paid for that work, and not used as cheap labour.

TUC general secretary Brendan Barber said apprentices needed to be able to earn a decent wage. …

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