The minimum pay rate for apprenticeships has been increased from £80 to £95 a week, following a fall in the number of young people joining the schemes.
Apprentices under the age of 19 and older workers in the first year of an apprenticeship are exempt from the minimum wage. The TUC has welcomed the change, in place from 1 August, stating that young women will benefit the most.
It said that, according to the latest government figures, the average pay rate for female apprentices in hairdressing and childcare is less than £95 a week. The average weekly pay for apprentices is more than £170 a week.
Latest figures showed that the numbers of young people who started apprenticeships in 2008/09 fell in England, although the total number rose.
TUC general secretary Brendan Barber said: “Thanks to union campaigning some of the worst paid apprentices should receive a much needed pay increase this week.
“The majority of apprentices are paid well above the minimum rate. But for many trainees, particularly young women, struggling on around £80 a week, an extra £15 will go a long way.”