TRAINEE craftspeople employed by Britain's small and mediumsized contractors are in line for a 30 per cent pay increase.
The Federation of Master Builders this week agreed to boost an apprentice's starting pay from £88 a week to £117 for the first year - increasing to £156 in the second.
The new rates are also intended to reward young people who gain NVQs. A third-year apprentice with a level 2 certificate will receive £206 a week compared with £196 for those without the qualification.
Under the FMB agreement, reached with the TGWU under the Building and Allied Trades Joint Industry Council, a young operative's weekly wage will increase from £101.79 to £129.48 for the first year. This will rise to £168.48 in year two.
Brian Flint, FMB deputy director-general, said: 'We've frontloaded entry level rates in recognition of the fact that we must attract young people into construction given the competition it faces from other industries.'