Raising the wage
Continuing the government’s commitment to help working people, the Prime Minister announced that almost half a million young people will benefit from an increase to the National Minimum Wage.
The government has already announced plans for a National Living Wage of £7.20 for workers over 25 which will be introduced from April – equivalent to a pay rise of at least £900 a year.
Today the Prime Minister announced that 21 to 24-year-olds on the minimum wage would also see a pay rise worth an average of £450 per year.
The National Minimum Wage for 21 to 24-year-olds will rise by 3.7% to £6.95 an hour.
18 to 20-year-olds will see their minimum wage rise by 4.7% to £5.55 an hour.
The minimum wage for 16 to 17-year-olds will rise by 3.4% to £4.00 an hour.
Apprentices will see their wage rise by 3% to £3.40 an hour.
The rise will take effect in October 2016, and the government has accepted in full the independent Low Pay Commission’s recommendations for this year.
This increase will mean that for the first time the National Minimum Wage rate for 21- to 24-year-olds is restored to its highest level in real terms, higher than its previous peak before the financial crisis.
The number of people in work in the UK is currently the highest it’s ever been and youth unemployment is at its lowest for a decade, while wages continue to rise above inflation.
Based on recent strong employment and wage growth figures, the Low Pay Commission has said this rise is manageable for employers.