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Tuesday, 26 May

No Jobs for Older Apprentices

A survey has found that one in four construction firms are unaware of new national living wage legislation and 30% are less likely to employ an apprentice aged 25 and over.

The survey was conducted by the UK construction payroll provider, Hudson Contract which polled companies on the new legislation which will see the wages of apprentices aged over 25 increase from £6.70 to the national living wage of £7.20 in April 2016.

Almost half (46%) of firms in the construction industry are set to feel the financial impact of new pay legislation affecting apprentices aged 25 years and over.

The research discovered that 24% of businesses in the construction sector do not know about the impending legislation change while 30% of those surveyed will be less likely to employ an apprentice who is aged 25 plus due to the financial pressure brought on by the wage rise. This is despite 24% of construction employers stating that they see apprentices aged 25 plus as being more experienced, while 25% consider them to be more reliable than younger apprentices.

When it comes to the age debate, 81% of firms said that they employed apprentices under the age of 25 with 47% claiming their apprentice stays with the business for up to three years after completing their apprenticeship. This compared with 34% who stay with the company for up to five years and 14% who last up to 10 years. Hudson Contract believes that this proves that apprentices are still seen as a long term investment and ‘vital to bolstering a talented workforce’.

“With the construction industry one of the biggest apprenticeship employers, we wanted to gauge the opinions of our building clients across the UK who will ultimately be affected by the new legislation,” explained Ian Anfield, MD, Hudson Contract. “Despite the findings indicating that nearly half of firms will be hit financially by the legislation and around a third may potentially be deterred from employing an apprentice aged 25 and over, it was reassuring that 42% of firms will employ an apprentice based on ability, rather than age.”

Picture: Ian Anfield, MD, Hudson Contract – survey has found the likely impact of new legislation and attitudes towards apprentices in the construction sector

Article written by Cathryn Ellis

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