Currently the minimum wage for workers over 21's is £6.50, while for those aged between 18 and 20 it's £5.13 and a measly £3.79 for a 16-18 year old. However if you choose to take on an apprenticeship in order to better yourself and improve your chances of a future career, you can expect to receive a pittance of £2.79 per hour. This isn't the best way to encourage young people to attempt to make something of their lives rather than sitting around in their undies all day, while watching reruns of Jeremy Kyle.

What is interesting is that between 2010 and 2014 the minimum wage for a over 21 year old has only risen by 57p per hour, which multiplied by 35 hours is only an extra £19.95 per week, despite the fact that the cost of food, travel and bills has risen by more than that in the past four years. While that's not a realistic wage increase to keep up with the cost of living, it's worse for the under 21's. The increase for a 18-20 year old in the same time frame is just 21p and for a 16-18 year old it's just 15p. These increases equal a total of £7.35 and £5.25. The minimum wage for an apprentice has increased by 23p per hour.

While it could be argued that younger people can still live at home, not all do and some can't for a variety of reasons. Why should society be encouraging people to spend longer lying at home? Surely if they're doing the same job as someone older, then they should be earning the same. Part of becoming a responsible adult is learning to take care of yourself. This involves living independently, paying your own bills, cooking and cleaning for yourself and so on. Even learning how to do all these things while still living at home is no substitute for the real thing. With the low minimum wage as it currently stands, it's impossible for an under 21 year old to cover the cost of this in their own place. It is difficult enough for an over 21 year old to do all this on a £6.50 per hour minimum wage, but it's just not possible on the lower minimum wages.

We often complain about young people being lazy and irresponsible but how can they learn responsibilities without the means to support themselves away from home and can we all honestly say we would happily go to work everyday in exchange for as little as £3.79 per hour, when so many of already complain that £6.50 per hour is too low. #Workforce #Youth