New figures from the Apprenticeship Pay Survey 2016, which show an increase in the proportion of apprentices not paid the full minimum wage they are due, have led to fierce criticism of the employers concerned.
The TUC has highlighted that the survey reveals that 18% of apprentices were paid less than the national minimum wage (NMW) rate they were entitled to in 2016, up from 15% in 2014.
"It is shocking that so many apprentices are being cheated out of the pay they have earned," TUC General Secretary Frances O'Grady said. "Bosses in hairdressing and childcare are the worst offenders – meaning that thousands of young women are being denied their legal rights."
People at the start of their working life are entitled to be paid the national minimum wage, she went on, and Ministers must urgently find the employers responsible for breaking the law, name them publicly and prosecute them.
Hairdressing and Childcare are, as Ms O'Grady has pointed out, the worst offenders with the former recording 46% paid below NMW in 2016, up from 42% in 2014, while the latter had 27% paid below NMW in 2016 (26% in 2014).
Other offenders include Construction (25% paid below NMW in 2016, up from 21% in 20140; Electrotechnical (23% paid below NMW in 2016, up from 17% in 2014); and Health, social care and sport (17% paid below NMW in 2016, up from 12% in 2014).
"Apprenticeship Pay Survey 2016: Great Britain" can be found at http://bit.ly/2uG7Sy7.