Cllr Kevin Gillott, the Labour Deputy Leader of Derbyshire County Council and Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, today announced that the council will now pay its apprentices the minimum wage.
Apprentices at the council are currently paid an hourly rate of £2.65 which is the apprenticeship rate established under The National Minimum Wage Regulations.
Commenting on the announcement Cllr Gillott said:
“It is quite frankly appalling that for the last four years the Derbyshire Tories have been paying our apprentices only £2.65 an hour.
Young people in Derbyshire have been hit hard by this Tory government.
They have already had their EMA scrapped; tuition fees trebled, and are also having to chase jobs that do not exist.
We are campaigning for a Fair Deal for Derbyshire which means listening to our young people and giving them the best start in life.
I only hope that the government follows our lead and makes sure all young people are paid more than £2.65 an hour.”
After listening to young people Derbyshire Labour also announced a number of measures to help the apprentices get to work after it was found that often wages do not cover transport costs.
Therefore apprentices are now being offered access to the 20% discount offered by Stagecoach on their Mega-ride bus tickets or the chance to loan out a bicycle. In some cases financial support will be awarded.