HC Deb 24 February 2004 vol 418 cc414-5W
Mr. Willis

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what research her Department has commissioned since 1998–99 to assess the impact of the National Minimum Wage on 16 to 17-year-olds participating in Government-supported training; and if she will make a statement. [155438]

Mr. Sutcliffe

[holding answer 23 February 2004 ]Work on the position of 16 to 17-year-old workers, including those on Government-supported training, is taking place in two strands. First, the Government asked the independent Low Pay Commission in spring 2003 to consider the case for introducing a minimum wage rate for 16 to 17-year-old workers. I understand that the Commission have commissioned research and consulted widely on this issue. A copy of the Government's evidence to the Commission can be found at www.dti.gov.uk/er/nmw. We expect to receive the Commission's report by the end of this month and then to publish it, with the Government's response, around the middle of March.

The Government have also been conducting a wider review which is looking at the financial incentives for young people to participate in education and training and the system of financial support for young people. We expect this review to report in the spring.