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National Minimum Wage to increase

The UK's adult National Minimum Wage is to increase by 12p to £6.31 an hour with effect from 1 October 2013.

The Government accepted the independent Low Pay Commission's (LPC's) recommendations to increase this year's adult and youth wage rates.

However, recommendations to freeze the apprentice rate were rejected because of compliance concerns. It will also increase closer in line with the youth rates.

From the 1 October 2013:

  • The adult rate (21 years plus) will increase by 12p to £6.31 an hour
  • The 18-20 year old rate will increase by 5p to £5.03 an hour
  • The 16-17 year old rate will increase by 4p to £3.72 an hour
  • The apprentice rate will increase by 3p to £2.68 an hour.

Business secretary Vince Cable said: "The independent Low Pay Commission plays a crucial role in advising the government when setting the National Minimum Wage every year. It balances wages of low paid workers against employment prospects if the rate was set too high.

We are accepting its recommendations for the adult and youth National Minimum Wage rate increases, which I am confident strikes this balance. However, there is worrying evidence that a significant number of employers are not paying apprentices the relevant minimum wage rate."

Naming apprenticeships as 'the heart' of supporting a stronger economy, Vince Cable said it was vital to make them attractive to young people. It said it would take non-compliance issues seriously across the board.