Following our campaign, hundreds of apprentices have been given permanent contracts and a pay rise.
In early February PCS Home Office group received confirmation that from 1 April 2020 all apprentices were being moved to new pay scales at the AO substantive grade and on permanent contracts.
This resulted from a comprehensive bargaining, campaigning and organising plan by the group executive committee. It included a letter sent from the general secretary to the Permanent Secretary in December 2019, highlighting the potential damage to the department’s reputation from the Border Force apprenticeship recruitment exercise.
The letter highlighted that - with Brexit approaching - the Border Force exercise opened the government to accusations that it was trying to run UK borders “on the cheap”, with inexperienced staff on poor wages, who may not be authorised to undertake the tasks they carry out.
In February the permanent secretary confirmed that from 1 April, hundreds of externally-recruited apprentices across the department, recruited onto AO apprenticeships but paid below the AO minimum, would be moved to the AO spot rate and onto a permanent contract. For some of our lowest paid members, this has resulted in a near £7,000 a year pay increase.