HC Deb 21 May 1982 vol 24 c212W
Mr. Hordern

asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he will publish a table, from international sources available to him, of the number of apprentices in industry in the United Kingdom, West Germany and France and the proportion of the average wage that a new apprentice may expect to receive, in each of these countries, at the latest convenient date.

Mr. Peter Morrison

Because of differences between countries in education and training systems, numbers of apprentices and their pay are not directly comparable. For example, in Germany numbers of apprentices are very high because formal schemes exist for most occupations, whereas in Britain they are confined to a smaller number of craft skills. Also the mix of "on the job" and "off the job" training, which may affect earnings, varies between countries, as does the school leaving age. For this reason no firm conclusion should be drawn from the latest available data, which are as follows:

Number of apprentices in 1979 Apprentices' earnings
220 15 to 60 per cent, of the national minimum wage depending on the stage of training and industry in which employed.
West Germany
1,500 about 20 per cent, of the average wage of all male workers in the private sector, in the first year of training.
Great Britain
463 (1974) 30 to 70 per cent, of the skilled rate, depending on the industry in which employed at age 16.


MSC—Outlook on training—review of the Employment and Training Act 1973 (1980).

OECD—Youth without work (1981).

DE—Time rates of wages and hours of work.