National Minimum Wage – Low Pay Commission 2013 Report

First published on Tue, April 16, 2013.

The government has announced that the national minimum wage will rise by 12p an hour to £6.31 for adults and by 5p to £5.03 for 18-to-20-year-olds from October. The rate for apprentices will rise by 3p to £2.68 an hour. These increases are below current inflation levels. The announcement coincides with the publication of the Low Pay Commission’s 2013 Report, which cites evidence submitted by Creative & Cultural Skills.

The Apprenticeship Rate

• Data from the 2012 Apprentice Pay Survey, as well as the findings of the Commission’s own research on the impact of the Apprentice Rate show that a “significant proportion” (more than 40%) of younger apprentices are being paid less than their minimum wage entitlement.

• Around 19% of adult apprentices (aged 21 and above) are paid less than their NMW entitlement.

• Overall just over 27% of all apprentices are estimated to be paid less than their minimum wage entitlement. This represents a significant increase since 2011, when around 20% of apprentices received less than the NMW.

• The report has recommended to the government that they improve awareness of, and compliance with, the Apprentice Rate and argues that “non-compliance among employers of young apprentices is so widespread as to jeopardise the credibility of the Apprentice Rate”.


• The LPC also continues to “receive evidence of abuse of the NMW through unpaid work, often labelled as internships”, and suggest that the government should tackle this problem by providing “improved guidance, together with vigorous and targeted enforcement action” as well as, potentially, changes to the law to improve compliance.

• Creative and Cultural Skills were among a number of stakeholders who  voiced concerns about the impact of non-payment of the NMW on social mobility, particularly given that unpaid internships are rapidly becoming the “new normal”.

Creative & Cultural Skills lead the campaign to change recruitment culture in the creative sector, encouraging the take up of apprenticeships and paid internships. We have recently announced that we will be partnering with Arts Council England to deliver their Creative Employment Programme.  Working with Arts Council England, we have published Internships in the arts – a guide for arts organisations, a set of guidelines which set out the legal obligations for arts and cultural organisations offering internships.

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