Recently, I took part in a webinar from the perspective of an apprentice and how COVID-19 is affecting us. I shared my concerns of the lack of support and services in regards to mental health as well as the current furlough situation where apprentices are currently only being paid £3.31. Considering there are part-time workers who are currently furloughed on £5.61, I think it’s time we really saw the importance of apprentices and how they greatly improve the workplace and companies.
During the webinar, we received a lot of questions, but a question I thought was vital in receiving an answer was raised about what we can do in relation to apprentices’ pay during the COVID-19 crisis. I am happy to tell you that there is a very simple answer. If apprentices were paid the real living wage, we currently wouldn’t have to suffer further through this pandemic. A lot of us live alone, or support our families, and this pay cut – which may seem small to those on higher salaries – is massive and deeply affects us all. £3.31 on a 40 hour week is equivalent to £132 a week.and based on an average 4-week month, that’s £528 a month. Could you live on £528 a month? That’s rent, council tax, utilities. A single person in London’s average living costs is £756 which is excluding rent. Living in a one-bedroom apartment rent is £1,686 a month.
So my answer to your question is to pay apprentices fairly and equally for the contribution they add to society. Apprentices deserve the real living wage.
Here are my slides from the webinar. I am more than happy to discuss the question, the webinar or my work with the National Society of Apprentices at any time.