The Low Pay Commission has been asked by the Government to consider introducing a new national minimum wage rate for apprentices. Apprentices are currently exempt from the NMW if they are aged under 19; or are over 19 and in the first year of their apprenticeship. There is a minimum rate of pay for Learning and Skills Council (LSC) apprenticeship contracts, which is currently set at £80 per week (rising to £95 from August 2009). The new arrangements aim to give apprentices a fair deal and protect them from exploitation. The Commission will monitor and evaluate the impact of the minimum wage and report to the Government by the end of February 2010.

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