The Chancellor has announced the new rates of National Minimum Wage, National Living Wage and Apprentice Minimum Wage from April 2019 as recommended by the Low Pay commission (LPC).
- The National Living Wage (for workers aged 25 and over) should increase from £7.83 to £8.21;
- The rate for 21-24 year olds should increase from £7.38 to £7.70;
- The rate for 18-20 year olds should increase from £5.90 to £6.15;
- The rate for 16-17 year olds should increase from £4.20 to £4.35; and
- The apprentice rate (for apprentices aged under 19 or in the first year of their apprenticeship) should increase from £3.70 to £3.90.
- The Low Pay Commission has recommended that the accommodation offset increases from the current £7.00 to £7.55.
The Low Pay Commission has estimated that the increase for the Apprentice Minimum Wage of 20 pence (5.4%) will benefit up to 36,000 apprentices.
The 10-per-cent fee that small businesses must pay when they take on apprentices will be halved. The Chancellor has announced that SMEs will only contribute 5 per cent to the training, as part of a “£695 million package to support apprenticeships”.
Up to £5 million is going to the Institute for Apprenticeships and National Apprenticeship Service in 2019-20, to “identify gaps in the training provider market and increase the number of employer-designed apprenticeship standards available to employers”.
£20 million worth of new “skills pilots” announced
This will include a £3 million scheme to help “employers in Greater Manchester and surrounding areas to address local digital skills gaps through short training courses”, and a £10 million pilot again in Greater Manchester, working with the Federation of Small Businesses, to “test what forms of government support are most effective in increasing training levels for the self-employed”.
A £7 million match funding pilot “alongside employers to provide on-the-job training to young people not currently in employment, education or training in Greater Manchester, and to move them into sustainable career paths with employers”.
The government will also provide £38 million of capital funding to support implementation of the first three T-levels in 2020 across 52 providers, as announced earlier this month.