The Government has announced that the minimum wage for apprentices in England will go up from £80 to £95 a week from August 2009.
Children’s Secretary, Ed Balls and Skills Secretary, John Denham, announced the increase following a review of apprentices salaries which showed that while the average weekly wage for an apprentice was £170, an estimated 25,000 apprentices receive less than £95 a week. This makes up around 10 % of those currently on apprenticeships and is made up mostly of females in the social care and hair dressing sectors.
Farm worker Sam Leese, 22, died after he got trapped in a seed chopping machine whilst working at a farm near Huxley, Cheshire. Paramedics and the fire service who were called to scene were unable to save him.
The Health and Safety Executive has launched an investigation into the death.
The Driving Standards Agency (DSA) has re-launched its road safety campaign, Arrive Alive, which is aimed at 16-19 year olds in the UK and looks at all aspects of driving, from learning and taking the test to driving safely and adopting safe attitudes.
The DSA is visiting schools, colleges and other institutions to give information and advice to young people.
RoSPA is carrying out research on young drivers who drive for work purposes. Funded by the DfT, the project focuses on drivers aged 17-25. For the first part of the research, employers are being asked to complete an online questionnaire about young drivers, see:
The results from the project will be used by the Driving Standards Agency to help determine the need for work-related post-driving test education, training and qualifications for young drivers.
An organisation called V has launched a new campaign to encourage 16-25 year olds to think about doing some voluntary work. The campaign, Favours, aims to change the traditional view of volunteering as ‘boring’ or ‘geeky’ by looking at it as simply doing someone a favour. Miquita Oliver and fashion designer Ben de Lisi recently launched Fashion Favours which looks at recycling clothes to raise money for charity.
V’s website offers information on all types of volunteering and you can join up to receive alerts about projects you may be interested in.
The Government has announced new measures to help improve skills and training in the construction industry.
John Denham, Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills, told the Trades Union Congress that the Government is committed to supporting over 40,000 apprenticeships in construction by 2012. He announced that a ‘Clearing House’ would be set up, so that apprentices who are made redundant because of the credit crunch would be able to find new positions more easily.
The information on accidents and prosecutions featured in this section comes from a number of different sources including the Health and Safety Executive and regional and national newspapers.
“In the future we must make sure that many more young people in Britain get the training that will make sure that they get the new jobs. So with employers we have agreed that construction will create 42,000 new apprenticeships by 2012. These apprenticeships will provide proper training, in real jobs so that we can build the sector's future and that of its workforce.”
John Denham, Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills
"Over the past decade we have seen the number of apprenticeship places double and we will see those numbers continue to increase year by year - because there is real demand for them. It is vital for the future success of this country that we develop everyone's skills to the full and apprenticeships are key to doing this.”
Ed Balls, Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families