Raising minimum wage for under-18s 'bad news' for apprenticeships


Monday, May 13, 2019

An economist has warned that a Labour pledge to raise the minimum wage for under-18s is "a risk".

Director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies, Paul Johnson, said the party's plans to give a £10-an-hour minimum wage to workers under the age of 18 could be "bad news longer term".

"The Labour Party has said all workers will be affected by this, and that implies those doing apprenticeships will get this higher minimum wage. If that's true, that would be the bit that worried me the most," he told talkRADIO's Julia Hartley-Brewer.

"We already have a problem with the small number of good apprenticeships, and clearly if this resulted in fewer employers offering apprenticeships, that could be bad news longer term."

Mr Johnson also warned that a minimum wage hike could result in fewer young people securing training for "better jobs" later in life.

At the moment, under-18s are entitled to a minimum wage of £4.35 per hour, with over-25s given £8.21.

"I don't know what the effect will be, because we have never tried anything like it. But there is clearly a risk," he added.

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