March 25th 2010

The Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) has expressed concern that the announcement of a minimum wage for apprentices of £2.50 per hour will do little to attract young people into apprentices and absolutely nothing to improve retention rates in apprenticeships schemes.

STUC General Secretary, Grahame Smith, said

“It is vitally important as we begin to emerge from recession that young workers are given opportunities to develop skills and receive training that will help them throughout their working lives.

“Far too many young people are forced to abandon apprenticeship schemes as a result of the poverty pay rates that young people have received as a result of the training rate concession exploited by employers.

“The STUC believes that developing skill and learning for young people can ensure that we avoid another lost generation of young people resigned to a life on benefits.

“This can only be achieved if they are paid at least the minimum wage rate for their age, but we should be looking at ensuring that every worker in Scotland, irrespective of age or employment status, is paid a proper living wage.

“A minimum wage for apprentices of £2.50 falls far short of this aim and is an opportunity missed to avoid the catastrophic effect that previous recessions have had on young people”.

ENDS For further information contact Ian Tasker 0141 337 8100

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