Lewisham Council has announced plans to pay all of its apprentices at least the London Living Wage. The announcement, which comes at the start of National Apprenticeship Week, will see apprentices at the council receive a pay rise of 30%.
The real Living Wage is the amount – calculated by the Living Wage Foundation – which people need to earn in order to live free from poverty. It currently stands at £10.75 in London.
Lewisham Labour are committed to building an economy that works for the many. That means both tackling poverty pay, and providing high quality training opportunities. Under Labour, Lewisham was the first Living Wage accredited local authority in the country in 2012.
The minimum wage for apprentices currently stands at just £3.90. Lewisham Council currently pays apprentices at least £7.70 – nearly double the minimum wage – and higher than the average apprentice wage across the country. But we believe that it is the right thing to go further still, and to introduce the real Living Wage for apprentices too.
The Mayor’s Apprenticeship Programme, which was created by the Council back in 2009, helps local residents into apprenticeships with the Council and its partners. The programme has supported over 500 people into apprenticeships over the last decade, offering them the opportunity to earn while they learn, with the combination of on-the job training with off the job learning. Apprenticeships lead to fantastic prospects, with 82% going on to further employment or training. The scheme has been a huge success and an example of our commitment to providing opportunities for our residents.
Cllr Joe Dromey, Cabinet Member for Culture, Jobs & Skills said:
“We were the first Living Wage accredited council in the country, and we are absolutely delighted to now extend the Living Wage to all of our apprentices. It is a recognition of their huge commitment, and the difference that they make to the organisation.”
Cllr Amanda de Ryk, Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources said:
“We really value the work that all of our apprentices in Lewisham do, and it’s fantastic to be able to recruit new people and new thinking into the organisation. We believe our apprenticeship scheme is a great opportunity not just for our apprentices, but our organisation itself.”
To find out more about our apprenticeships in Lewisham visit: www.lewisham.gov.uk/apprenticeships