The minimum pay rate for apprentices has risen by £15 a week, from £80 to £95, following a fall in the number of young people joining schemes.
According to the report on the BBC website, the TUC welcomed the change in the pay levels, from 1 August, with young women likely to benefit the most. Apprentices under the age of 19 and older workers in the first year of an apprenticeship are exempt from the national minimum wage.
Start rates for apprenticeships this year are already down on previous years. Personnel Today reported in July that more than one-third of apprentices dropped out of training last year. The number of 16- to 18-year-olds signing up for apprenticeships has fallen 8.3% from last year, while the number of 19- to 24-year-olds joining schemes was down 2%.
The shadow minister for learning told Personnel Today that retention rates could get even worse during the recession.