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Hudson Contract Apprenticeship Survey: Pay rises for those aged 25+ will lead to fewer opportunities

Hudson Contract | 13th January 2016

Almost a quarter of construction firms surveyed by Hudson Contract were unaware of new national living wage legislation that means apprentices aged 25 and over will have their wages increased from £6.70 to £7.20 an hour from April.

And it seems certain the pay hikes will have a big impact on the industry, with 46% of participants set to feel the financial impact of the increases.

Other key findings from the survey of 1,000 construction firms across the UK:

  • 30% of companies say the increases mean they are less likely to employ an apprentice aged 25+ due to financial pressure brought on by the wage rise
  • But 25% of employe0rs believe apprentices aged 25+ are more experienced and 24% consider them more reliable than younger apprentices
  • 42% of firms believe ability is more important than age when it comes to choosing apprentices
  • 81% reported they employ apprentices under the age of 25
  • 47% of firms say their apprentices stay with the business for up to three years after qualifying, 34%  are still there after five years, and 14% last for ten years – proving apprentices are seen as a good long-term investment

Hudson Contract Managing Director Ian Anfield comments: “Construction is one of the biggest apprenticeship employers, so we thought it important to gauge the opinions of our clients, since they will be affected by the new legislation.

“We’ve learned that almost half the firms we interviewed will be hit financially by the legislation, and that around a third say they are now potentially deterred from employing an apprentice aged 25 or older.  However, given that apprenticeships are key to the future of construction, it’s encouraging to have gathered clear evidence that those who are given the chance to learn a skilled trade often turn out to become a valuable long-term asset to the firm that nurtures them.”

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