The Trade Union Congress (TUC) is to call on the Government to bring the minimum wage for young workers up to the level of adults. It is to deliver a plea to pay the adult minimum wage to 18-21 year olds - it is currently paid from the age of 22 - and to scrap the exemption currently enforced on apprentices. Adult minimum wage is currently set at £5.73 an hour but 18-21 year olds receive £4.77, while 16 and 17 year olds are paid even less, earning £3.53 for every hour worked. With its Young Members Conference starting today, the TUC will ask the Government to mark the tenth anniversary of the minimum wage ending what it calls the cycle of low pay to young workers. "The TUC wants the adult minimum wage rate to be paid from 18 because if 18 year olds can vote, get married and join the army, then there is no reason why they shouldn't be paid the same going rate for a job," said Kay Carberry, assistant general secretary of the TUC. "We're also calling for the removal of the minimum wage exemption for apprentices because far too many are being exploited by unscrupulous employers and competition rates in some sectors remain poor."
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