The government’s apprentice pay survey 2016, published in July, found that almost a fifth of apprentices (18 per cent) at level 2 and 3 received less than the minimum wage – up from 15 per cent in 2014.
Particular problems were found in hairdressing. Forty-seven per cent of apprentices received non-compliant pay, as well as construction (28 per cent) and children’s learning, development and wellbeing (27 per cent).
Jenkins says that “anything that undermines the brand of apprenticeships is not acceptable”.
“Apart from the fact that people not paying what is required under the law is clearly illegal, it’s also incredible unhelpful to what we’re trying to do here,” he adds.
“I think it is entirely appropriate that apprentices should be paid, should be paid properly and certainly – and obviously – paid within the law.”