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Increase minimum wage for apprentices, says FSB

Increase minimum wage for apprentices, says FSB

Category: Business

Updated: 28/07/2009
First Published: 28/07/2009

This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.
The minimum wage paid to apprentices should be increased, while firms should be helped to take young workers on, the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has said.

The proposals to get more apprentices into work and make them better paid comes ahead of a government meeting on employing young people, which is set to take place tomorrow.

Recent figures have highlighted a growing problem of long tem unemployment amongst young people in the UK and the FSB believes that more incentives need to be introduced to reverse this trend.

Financial rewards would also be offered to small firms which show a willingness to take on apprentices. The FSB says there are many such businesses in the UK but the administrative burden, organising training and securing financial support has proved a stumbling block for many.

Specifically, the FSB is calling on the Government to: increase the minimum wage paid to apprentices from £95 a week to £123; establish a Group Apprenticeship Programme which would match potential young workers with companies looking for a trainee, taking away the burden place on small firms; and ensure funds are redirected to the hardest to reach businesses that do not currently know they exist.

An awareness campaign about the benefits of apprenticeships and the financial support for participating businesses has also been mooted.

"In a survey of our members, 82 per cent said they would be in favour of an increase in the minimum wage for apprentices, which would give them more of an incentive to complete the traineeship and give employees a higher chance of serious applicants for the position," said FSB national chairman, John Wright.

"Small businesses are eager to do their bit and to take on new employees, but the Government must step up and help them to tackle the problem of unemployment."

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