CTU Media Release
9 October 2012
Lower Wages No Solution
The Council of Trade Unions says that reducing wages for young people is no solution to high youth unemployment.
It is reported that the Government will announce today a lower pay rate for 16-19 year olds.
James Sleep, Convenor of Stand Up, the youth union movement, says “we stand for decent work and a living wage and that
applies to young workers also. What the Government should be doing is investing in young people, and adopting policies
that will lift employment rather than reducing pay rates”.
James Sleep said that forthcoming changes to employment law are also based on reducing wage rights through undermining
“The so-called ‘starting out wage’ is unfair as it discriminates against young people based on their age. There is no
evidence to suggest that the cutting of wages will lead to more jobs. It will lead to poorer young people”.
James Sleep added that he does not object to a lower rate for those in formal training, but that is different from the
punitive approach of paying workers less because of their age and also for those 18 and 19 year olds because they had
been on a benefit for 6 months.
“Like the 90 day probationary period with no right of appeal against unfair dismissal, youth rates will not lead to more
jobs for young people.”