Wage rise for apprentices welcomed by College Principal

Wage rise for apprentices welcomed by College Principal

Suffolk New College Principal Viv Gillespie has welcomed the introduction of an annual £1,000 pay increase for apprentices.

The rise came into effect this month and represents the largest ever growth in wages in the apprenticeship scheme.

The apprentice rate of the minimum wage will go up by 57p per hour to £3.30, meaning that those working full-time will earn £1,185 more per year.

Mrs Gillespie said the rise reflected the importance and growing appeal of apprenticeships.

“A strong apprenticeship system is vital for the future of economic growth in Suffolk and the UK,” she said.

“It is therefore only right that those talented young people who are developing the key skills to drive industry forward are properly rewarded for their efforts.”

Suffolk New College offers a range of apprenticeships, including those in Business and IT, Engineering, Construction, Hairdressing and Beauty Therapy, and Childcare

“Given the significance of the apprenticeship scheme to SuffolkNew College, we absolutely welcome the increase in pay,” added Mrs Gillespie.

The apprentice rate applies to all 16 to 18-year-old apprentices, as well as older apprentices in the first year of training. The new rate goes beyond the Low Pay Commission's recommended £2.80.

Former SuffolkNew College apprentice Ian Twinley, now Chairman of John Grose, said: "I loved earning money as an apprentice which meant I could pay my way. I also learnt I could succeed when given an opportunity to use my skills and put them into practice.”

Business secretary Sajid Javid said the increase for apprentices was “the largest in history, making sure that apprenticeships remain an attractive option for young people”, while "the national minimum wage will see the largest real-terms increase since 2007”.