Freeze on minimum wage for under 21s leave students cold

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As if being young wasn’t hard enough, prospective futures for students after graduation looking more than bleak, and for those students who have a part time job, it seems there’s even less to look forward to. This comes after LPC (Low Pay Commissions) and Vince Cable made a recent announcement proposing to freeze annual rises on wages for under 21’s.

Their argument for the less than favourable proposal is that the freeze on rises will ensure less people will leave education at an earlier stage and enter higher education. This paired with increases on tuition fees leaves little option for younger people and I can only predict a frugal life at best, if not one steeped in debt for the youth of today.

LPC stated in a report that the action was “to ensure that minimum wage rates do not provide an incentive for young people to leave education or training while preventing exploitation for those who are in work or completing an apprenticeship.” Whilst Vince Cable said “raising the youth rates would have been of little value to young people if it meant it was harder for them to get a job in the long run”. He went further to say that consenting to LPC’s proposal was a “very hard decision” but an essential decision the government had to make to encourage employers to recruit younger staff.

The questions begs though, do students or young people really want to work with businesses that are unwillingly to spend a few extra pounds a week when they have to slog in their efforts for the businesses success. Surely a few more pounds are more encouraging for the investment of training and shaping future employees that can become a real asset to the economy and the business.

Arguably, the decision by the government seems a little counterproductive when you consider today’s current economy and inflation. Younger workers have more disposable income that isn’t needed for things like mortgages and children and so by giving them more money could they not provide a much needed boost to the UK’s economy?
As a under 21 myself working at a local fast food restaurant in my university holidays to help fund the student lifestyle, I can vouch that it’s hard work for a few pennies. Pennies I won’t be willing now to spend knowing that it’d be of greater advantage to save them up.

How is this new initiative encouraging for students and young people I ask? For those who have dropped out of education, it seems if you can get a job, none of the normal things you’d expect to happen could come from it. You won’t for example be able to move out from your parent’s house and buy your own flat and afford day to day expenses. The new move means the margin between 16-20 year olds doing the exact same job as a 22 year old will increase by a massive £5,221! proving the pennies really do add up quite dramatically.

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