Today the new National Living Wage comes into force so that workers over the age of 25 will now earn £7.20 per hour.
So what does this mean for those workers under 25? At Youth Employment UK we have written a report looking at the impacts it could have on young people, this report was led by Youth Ambassador Lloyd Ross with contributions from other Ambassadors.
Living Wage, and Young People
As this report shows, work does not pay for young people. Jobs that are low-skilled and low-paid are not worth becoming an apprentice for, as the wage received is less than what a normal worker of the same age receives. In addition to this, with the additions of the current budget, these low wage jobs, which provide little transferable skills that can be taken to other workplaces, meaning near non-existent social mobility prospects, now have low job security, as those nearing 25 will be overlooked in favour of 16-24 year olds, especially in zero-hour contract jobs.
The findings recommendations of this paper only scratch the surface of the mounting issues the current structure of the NLW may bestow on young people looking for jobs. A greater dialogue between businesses and government must be undertaken to ensure the establishment of a structure that pays for both commercial interest and young jobseekers. Crucially, that dialogue must include the voices of young people themselves.
You can also read our CEO’s open letter to Matthew Hancock MP who defended the difference in the wages between young and older works by saying that young people are less productive.
These rates are for the National Living Wage and the National Minimum Wage from 1 April 2016.
||25 and over
||21 to 24
||18 to 20
|April 2016 (current rate)
National Minimum Wage rates change every October. National Living Wage rates change every April.
The ‘apprentice’ rate is for apprentices aged 16 to 18 and those aged 19 or over who are in their first year. All other apprentices are entitled to the minimum wage for their age.