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Apprentice minimum wage to rise again in April 2021
The Treasury announced earlier this year, that the next increase in minimum wage for apprentices will be 1 April 2021, with the rate going up from £4.15 to £4.30 an hour. The 15p increase equates to a 3.6 per cent rise, and is in line with a recommendation from the Low Pay Commission. This is the second raise in as many years, with the £4.15 rate only set in 2020. Before this, the last increase was from £3.70 to £3.90, back in the 2018 Budget. An increase in the wage helps to ensure potential apprentices are kept interested and drawn to the scheme, and it may help more young people consider apprenticeships after finishing school.
As mentioned, over the past few years, we’ve seen the apprenticeship wage increase substantially to encourage more young people to see it as an attractive, and viable option for their future. The rise will mean that all apprentice employers paying minimum wage are required to increase their apprentice’s pay, by law. However, we know that many employers already pay more than the UK national minimum wage, so won’t be hugely impacted by the change.
The change in national minimum wage for apprentices comes alongside increases for all other age groups too. For 21 to 22-year-olds it increases to £8.22 an hour, for 18 to 20-year olds it will increase to £6.56 an hour and for 16-17 year olds it will increase to £4.62 an hour. The national living wage for everyone aged over 23 has also increased from £8.72 to £8.91. These increases will all take place at the beginning of the new financial year in April 2021.
The combination of incentives for employers and the wage increase for the apprentices themselves should be a step towards increasing apprenticeship uptake. As this happens, more employers will realise just how valuable apprentices can be and how businesses can benefit from fresh talent as well as employees who are completely versed in your business’ way of working for the future.