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Minimum wage to rise next year - with 21-year-olds seeing big jump

The national living wage will rise to £11.44 in April next year, the government has announced.

The rate is currently £10.42 for workers aged over 23, but the new figure will apply to 21 and 22-year-olds for the first time. The national minimum wage for 18 to 20-year-olds will also increase by £1.11 to £8.60 per hour, the Treasury has said.

Apprentices will have their minimum hourly rates boosted, with an 18-year-old in an industry like construction seeing their minimum hourly pay rise by more than 20 percent, going from £5.28 to £6.40 an hour. It will be the largest cash increase seen by the minimum wage and the first time it has gone up by more than £1, according to the independent Low Pay Commission (LPC) which advises the government on the rate.

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It means that the minimum wage will now be equal to two thirds of median hourly pay for those aged 21 and over, the LPC said. Chancellor Jeremy Hunt said: “Next April all full-time workers on the National Living Wage will get a pay rise of over £1,800 a year.

"That will end low pay in this country, delivering on our manifesto promise. The National Living Wage has helped halve the number of people on low pay since 2010, making sure work always pays.”

However, the TUC is calling for an increase to £15 an hour “as soon as possible,” citing real-terms cuts to pay over the last decade and the high cost of living. “This is badly needed and follows pressure from unions and low-pay campaigners. But with bills sky-high the minimum wage should be raised to £15 an hour as soon possible,” general secretary Paul Nowak