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Apprentice pay rates rise by up to 10 per cent

PAY RATES for apprentices are set to rise by up to 10 per cent under a deal agreed last week between industry employers and unions.

The new rates come into effect next month.They will see third-year trainees take home £351 a week with the minimum weekly rate rising to £146.25 for first-year apprentices.

The deal has been thrashed out under the umbrella group the Construction Industry Joint Council, which includes representatives from the Construction Confederation, Ucatt, TGWU and GMB.

Increases range from 7 per cent in the first year to 10 per cent in the third and are designed to encourage apprentices to finish their training.

Construction Confederation chief executive Stephen Ratcliffe said: 'This agreement once again demonstrates that construction is becoming an increasingly attractive career option for young people.

'Improved pay and conditions including health and safety provision and better job security built on stable economic conditions have helped to establish construction as a viable career. The industry recognises that too many apprentices are failing to complete their training because they are being attracted away to take up better-paid jobs elsewhere in construction.This agreement will help to address that problem.'