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Keep minimum wage for young workers on hold

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The minimum wage for young workers should be frozen in 2010 to make sure that efforts to tackle youth unemployment are not hampered.

The call has come from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD).

John Philpott, the CIPD’s chief economic adviser, said: “We strongly welcome the steps the government has taken to avoid the creation of a ‘lost generation’ in the UK. But freezing the minimum wage for younger workers is necessary to ensure that all this good work is not undermined just as the economy begins to recover.”

Dr Philpott went on to say: “Pay restraint is likely to be a feature of the year ahead as employers and employees continue to work together to minimise job losses. It is right that younger workers lucky enough to have jobs should play their collective part in helping maximise the chances for those who do not.”

In its manifesto for recovery from the recession, the CIPD also recommended that the government should delay fiscal deficit reduction measures but freeze the public sector pay bill; drop the increase in employers’ NICs planned for 2011; remove the default retirement age and extend the right to request flexible working to all employees from 2013; and extend the job guarantee scheme to the long-term unemployed aged over 50.