In a speech to the Conservative Party conference, Jeremy Hunt has confirmed that the national living wage is set to increase to at least £11 an hour from next April.
Barry Fletcher, CEO at Youth Futures Foundation, comments:
“While today’s news is a welcome boost to those aged 23 and over, the new national living wage rate must be extended to include more young people.
“Young people’s wage growth has fallen below inflation since January 2022 and we know they have been badly affected by the ongoing cost-of-living crisis. This situation is even worse for the 13% of 16 to 22-year-olds who are not in full or part-time education who are also heads of their household. All young people need to be paid a fair living wage to ensure that they can survive. The Low Pay Commission’s report earlier this year recommended that workers become entitled to the national living wage from age 21, so we would like to see today’s announcement widen to reflect this recommendation.
“With over 790,000 young people not in employment, education or training, we already have many young people unable to reach their full potential. Without a suitable increase in wages for young people aged 16-23 – whose entitlement starts at just £5.28 per hour – the cost-of-living crisis threatens to cause more disruption to the wellbeing and futures of young people across the country.”