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First London college commits to paying living wage to all staff

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City of Westminster College has become the first FE college in London to become an accredited “living wage” employer.

The commitment means that everyone who works at the college – regardless of whether they are permanent employees, third party contractors or suppliers – will receive a minimum hourly wage of £9.15. This is significantly higher than the current national minimum wage of £6.50.

Pat Squires, City of Westminster’s deputy principal, said the college was “immensely proud” to be the first FE college in the capital to pay the living wage, which she said also made “sound business sense”. 

“Staff who are valued through receiving the living wage are more engaged and productive,” she added.

The living wage is an hourly rate of pay set and updated annually by the Living Wage Foundation. It is calculated according to the basic cost of living using the “minimum income standard” for the UK. 

The college joins only a handful of others to sign up to the voluntary scheme, including Chelmsford College, City College Norwich, City of Wolverhampton College, The Manchester College, Newcastle-under-Lyme College and Plymouth College of Art.

In the summer Budget earlier this month, chancellor George Osborne announced the introduction of a compulsory living wage.

The minimum rate of pay – which will be introduced next April and will apply to all full- and part-time workers aged 25 and above – will start at £7.20 an hour, rising to £9 an hour by 2020.

However, as TES revealed, the living wage will not apply to apprentices, whose current minimum wage is just £2.73 an hour

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