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Posted By Apprenticeships Directory on 04/10/2019 in Apprenticeship Sector News Stories

Apprentices for Bristol City Council to be paid the living wage

Apprentices for Bristol City Council to be paid the living wage

The aim is to attract and keep hard-working teenagers from minority and low-income backgrounds

Apprentices learning their trade at Bristol City Council are set for a pay rise, with some in line for a salary boost of more than £6,000.

The increase will guarantee young workers over 18 receive the Foundation Living Wage (£9-per-hour), while under-18s will earn 80 per cent of the rate with their hourly wages going up from £5 to £7.20.

The aim is to attract and keep hard-working teenagers from minority and low-income backgrounds who are put off by the paltry earnings.

Human resources committee members backed the new pay scales, which are still being finalised.

A report to councillors said: “There is evidence from a variety of government and third sector sources that low wages in apprenticeships may serve as a barrier which prevents people from low-income backgrounds from accessing apprenticeships.

“Women and people from BAME (black, Asian and minority ethnic) backgrounds are disproportionately represented in lower paying apprenticeships.

“Young workers are more likely to be in insecure roles or on zero-hours contracts than their older colleagues.

“Apprentice wages have been falling in real terms since 2009 and reduced purchasing power is felt particularly harshly by those who are already at the bottom end of the wage spectrum.

“It is essential that the council attracts and retains the right talent to lead and deliver great services to Bristol’s citizens.

“Offering apprenticeships is a proven and effective method of attracting and retaining staff.”

The report said the proposed wage increases, to come into effect from next April, required further work and consultation but that they would make the city council a much more attractive place to work for young people.

The changes would mostly affect employees in the first two years of apprenticeships, as those in year three already receive the Bristol Living Wage of £9 an hour (£17,364 a year).

At present, apprentices aged 18-20 receive £6.15 an hour (£11,124 a year), so their annual salary would rocket by £6,240.

Those aged 21-24 currently earn £7.70 an hour (£14,053 a year) and over-25s are paid £8.21 an hour (£19,983).

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