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Higher Minimum Wage Hurts Those Starting Off

Very few employers pay the minimum wage, the Employers & Manufacturers Association (Northern) says, and those that do are usually quick to lift pay when employees are successful.

"The very few people employed by our members being paid the minimum wage are young, unskilled and inexperienced, and just getting started on a productive working life," said Alasdair Thompson, EMA's chief executive.

"But very few of these people remain on the minimum youth or adult pay rate very long. Once they gain experience and skills, and their productivity rises, so does their pay.

"All that raising the minimum pay rates will do for these people is make their prospective employers think twice about taking them on in the first place, and take longer before they do so.

"In other words, those wanting to get a foot on the employment ladder will find the first step for them is higher than it used to be now that minimum wages have gone up.

"In a competitive labour market it is important that well meaning politicians do not put more obstacles in front of those young, unskilled and inexperienced people trying to get started in their first job."

Further comment: Alasdair Thompson tel 09 367 0911

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