Monmouthshire County Council has agreed to align the pay of its apprentices with the rates set by the National Living Wage Foundation. Cabinet members approved changes on 3rd February and these will be implemented from 1st April.
The decision to apply the UK Real Living Wage follows the council’s approval of its Apprentice, Graduate and Intern (AGI) Strategy in July 2019, which sets out how the council would deliver new employment and training opportunities for the next three years. Among its recommendations was that each apprentice would be subject to a consistent pay structure across the authority. The implementation of this measure means that all apprentices, regardless of age or qualification, will be paid at the same rate aligning with the council’s pay scales and the National Living Wage Foundation rate.
The council is one of the largest employers in Monmouthshire and it is committed to developing and supporting apprenticeships, graduate jobs and internships across its organisation, recognising the significant benefits they bring for both employer and employee.
The AGI enables new and existing employees to fulfil their potential and raise their skills levels to meet organisational needs as well as helping to drive productivity in the local economy and the wider Cardiff Capital Region. It also equips the council’s services to respond to challenges such as an ageing population, climate change, digitisation and globalisation.
The decision comes in the wake of National Apprenticeship Week 2021 – 8th to 14th February – which aims to shine a light on the amazing work done by apprentices and their employers across the country. Currently, the council employs 18 apprentices across a range of services with another 118 employees undertaking higher level qualifications.
Councillor Phil Murphy, cabinet member with responsibility for human resources said: “I’m very pleased that the council has approved this goal set out in our Apprentice, Graduate and Intern Strategy and it will ensure we pay our apprentices what we believe is fair for the work they do. We provide a wide array of services and we need people from all sorts of professional backgrounds and interests. We want to invest in their skills and experience as well as unleash their talents to benefit our communities. An apprenticeship can offer the perfect stepping-stone into local government and set staff on a hugely rewarding and fulfilling career path.”