In a written statement to Parliament, Small Business Minister Margot James has confirmed that the government has accepted all of the rate recommendations as set out in the Low Pay Commission’s autumn report 2017. These recommend that from April 2018 (subject to Parliamentary approval):
- The apprentice rate (for apprentices aged under 19 or in the first year of their apprenticeship) should increase from £3.50 to £3.70.
- The National Living Wage (for workers aged 25 and over) should increase from £7.50 to £7.83;
- The rate for 21-24 year olds should increase from £7.05 to £7.38;
- The rate for 18-20 year olds should increase from £5.60 to £5.90;
- The rate for 16-17 year olds should increase from £4.05 to £4.20;
A letter from Bryan Sanderson, Chair of the Low Pay Commission, to the Secretary of State additionally noted that 16-18 apprentices had seen “high growth” in earnings which reduced the impact of increases in the apprenticeship rate on the volumes or composition of apprenticeships, hence why an increase to £3070 (5.7%) could be recommended. He stated that the Commission would “look carefully at the function and impact of the Apprentice Rate next year when the new funding policy is bedded in and better evidence is available in the form of the biennial Apprenticeship Pay Survey”
The official government response to the recommendations also pointed out that those entitled to the 21-24 age rate will see the fastest percentage increase since 2006 whilst those entitled to the 18-20 age rate will see the fastest increase since 2004.
Copies are also available at the BEIS website on www.beis.gov.uk