Link to source: Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings
The minimum wage was introduced in April 1999 with the aim of eradicating extreme low pay. It has been expanded to cover more people and jobs and, in April 2016, a higher minimum wage (the National Living Wage) was introduced for workers aged 25 and over. Since its introduction, the minimum wage has resulted in earnings increasing fastest for those employees with lower paid jobs, particularly in the most recent 10 years. During this period, the percentage hourly pay increase for full-time employees was greatest for the lowest paid while, in the earlier period, full-time pay growth had only been faster among the very highest paid. This pattern is evident for both full-time and part-time pay.
Link to source: Labour Force Survey
The UK has seen rising numbers of working-age people with qualifications. This has contributed to increasing employment rates and supported earnings growth. However, there is still a significant minority of people with no or very low qualifications, who are increasingly disadvantaged in getting work. In addition, the difference in pay between those who are highly qualified and those who are not is increasing despite a rising minimum wage. It is also noticeable that people with mid-level qualifications (GCSEs or A-levels) are seeing their pay fall further behind those with higher qualifications. The link between higher pay and qualifications is much weaker for part-time than full-time employees. Part-time employees with GCSEs or A-levels are paid little more than those with no qualifications.