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Minimum wage increases by 11p but youth rates frozen

Posted: 3rd April 2012   In: Business Employment, Individual Employment

The national minimum wage for workers over the age of 21 is to increase by 11p to £6.19 an hour.

That is a rise of 1.8%, which is lower than the rate of inflation but higher than the average increase in earnings, which rose by 1.4% in the year to January.

The rate for 18 to 20-year-olds is frozen at £4.98 an hour.

There is also no change in the rate for 16 and 17-year-olds, which stays at £3.68 an hour.

However, the rate for apprentices will rise by 5p to £2.65 an hour.

The new rates will come into effect in October this year.

Trade union leaders have criticised the decision not to increase the rates in line with inflation, but Business Secretary Vince Cable insisted the figures struck the right balance between pay and jobs.

Mr Cable said: “In these tough times freezing the youth rates has been a very hard decision - but raising the youth rates would have been of little value to young people if it meant it was harder for them to get a job in the long run.”