HC Deb 20 April 2004 vol 420 c468W
Huw Irranca Davies

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, if she will make a statement on the impact of the introduction of the national minimum wage for 16- to 17-year-olds on combating the exploitation of young people by employers. [164551]

Mr. Sutcliffe

The Government announced on 15 March 2004 that we will he introducing a new minimum wage rate for 16- to 17-year-old workers at £3.00 per hour with effect from 1 October 2004. Apprentices aged 16 and 17 will be excluded from the new rate. The great majority of young workers are already being paid in excess of the new rate, but this should help prevent the exploitation of young workers by a minority of employers. The Government run a national publicity campaign each autumn to publicise increases in the minimum wage and will be considering how best to publicise the new rate as part of that campaign.