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Firms which refuse to pay minimum wage rates should be named and shamed, a student leader said today.
Toni Pearce, president of the National Union of Students said a clampdown was needed, especially for apprentices.
She told the TUC Congress in Bournemouth that the apprentice minimum of £2.65 an hour was going up by just 3p from next month.
"The Government's own evidence last year showed a fifth of apprentices were paid below even that pathetic wage.
"A third of those doing apprenticeships in construction, and almost half of those in hairdressing were paid less than the legal minimum.
"We need more naming and shaming.''
The NUS unveiled a new campaigning partnership with the TUC.