From 1 August 2014 the current minimum salary for trainees of £16,650 (£18,590 for Central London) will be scrapped in favour of the National Minimum Wage of just £6.08 an hour, which equates to a salary of £12,646 for a 40 hour week.
As a prospective trainee l I feel that this totally fails to take into account the years taken and money invested into oneself that is required to become a solicitor. Personally I've spent 3 years as an undergraduate and 2 years completing the GDL and LPC netting me a total debt of around £50k. 5 years and £50k later and the SRA believe I should be paid the same as if I had no qualifications and worked in a fast food outlet. As a teenager I did work in a fast food outlet and was very grateful for my minimum wage, however in the years between then and now I have invested in myself and believe that the qualifications I have earned in the interim should be recognised in the pay that I receive.
Outrage aside, it may not all be as bad as we think. As stated above, the current minimum trainee salary is £16,650/£18,590 however many firms pay well above this figure and will most likely continue to offer higher salaries than the minimum when the National Minimum Wage is introduced. As a prospective trainee I don't think this new system is of much benefit to us but I also don't believe it's completely doom and gloom for us just yet.
For more information and the arguments for and against the new minimum salary visit: