Vince Cable is wrong: apprenticeships are paid well – youngsters are just not motivated

“Most trade based apprenticeships pay well above the minimum rates,” said Mr Davies – whose property maintenance and refurbishment company trains apprentices.

“The problem is finding youngsters who are willing to commit themselves to an apprenticeship and not paying them another three pence an hour,” he said.

The business secretary Vince Cable accused companies last week of not paying apprentices the minimum wage rate and promising ‘tough new measures’ to punish errant employers.

Mr Cable also announced and increase of three pence to £2.68 an hour for apprentices which will come into effect from October this year.

“Of course, pay rates for apprentices appear to be low but employers invest a great deal of time and money in training young people and they have to be encouraged to take on more youngsters,”

“The issue is the apathy that has been created in that segment of our society and the fact that the young are leaving school or college with a lack of desire and ill prepared for the next stage of their life.

“They are too ready to accept the coach potato lifestyle of benefit culture and are not prepared to learn a trade that will earn them a living for the rest of their lives.

“We pay our apprentices well over minimum rates and yet we still struggle to find the applicants. What we need from the business secretary are measures and policies that get to the route of the problem. Suggesting that an extra three pence per hour is going to make a difference is merely an attempt to divert attention away from the real issues,” has returned to a system of old fashioned apprenticeships for training their own young workers. Last year, they organised a series of apprentice boot camps to select apprenticeship candidates where youngsters were put through a series of fitness, literacy and numeracy tests.

“The individuals who were prepared to contribute the most to a boot camp were the individuals who benefited most from employing,” Davies concluded.