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Young workers should be paid the same minimum wage as older employees, says the TUC

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The TUC has called on employers to end low pay for younger workers by paying staff aged between 18 and 22 an adult minimum wage and scrapping the minimum wage exemption for apprentices.

Currently the minimum wage for workers aged 18 to 22 is £4.77 compared with £5.73 for those older than 22.

Speaking at the TUC's Young Members Conference, assistant general secretary Kay Carberry said: "The economic downturn is having a disproportionate impact on young people. Unemployment has now broken through the two million barrier and workers under 30 are one of the worst affected groups.

"The minimum wage is one of the great achievements of this Government - but as we celebrate its 10th anniversary, we can't afford to relax our guard.

"The TUC believes improvements in the minimum wage are both necessary and affordable. Necessary because a 20p an hour increase in the minimum wage would help low-paid workers while generating approximately £400 million of extra spending. And affordable because this would add just 0.06% to the UK's pay bill."