The National Minimum Wage for apprentices is set to rise by 5p an-hour to £2.73, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills announced today.

The 2 per cent rise will come into force on October 1.

The move was recommended by the Low Pay Commission after the government asked how it could increase the lowest wages without affecting employment.

Business Secretary Vince Cable said: “The recommendations I have accepted today mean that low-paid workers will enjoy the biggest cash increase in their take home pay since 2008.

“This will benefit more than one million workers on National Minimum Wage and marks the start of a welcome new phase in minimum wage policy.

“The independent Low Pay Commission plays a crucial role in advising the government about the minimum wage. This is why I asked them to look at how we could restore the real value of the National Minimum Wage as the economy recovers.

“The LPC’s new forward guidance gives us a much better understanding of how an economic recovery can be translated into faster and significant increases in the National Minimum Wage for low paid workers, without costing jobs.

“The experts will continue to advise government on future wage rises to help the low paid, and in the meantime I urge businesses to consider how all their staff — not just those on the minimum wage — can enjoy the benefits of recovery.”

The LPC also recommended bigger increases in future than have been seen in recent years.

The adult National Minimum Wage is to rise 19p (3 per cent) to £6.50 an-hour; 10p (2 per cent)  for 18 to 20-year-olds to £5.13; and, 7p (2 per cent) for 16 and 17-year-olds to £3.79.