Minimum wage for apprentices/Mindestlohn für Auszubildende

Via someone who arrived at Transblawg, I found a link to a reader's letter on the Telegraph, from Sir Cyril Taylor, who apparently played a role in Tony Blair's creation of schools called academies. I am still trying to work out what this letter means. It seems to refer to the fact that the UK introduced a minimum wage for apprentices in October 2010, and this reduced the number of apprenticeships available. Germany doesn't have a minimum wage. I find it hard to decide whether a minimum wage is a good thing - probably - Wikipedia gives arguments on both sides - but I wonder what it can be like to be so certain of what is right as many Telegraph letters (the column on the right currently links to an article by Boris Johnson headed Snooty Europhiles should be forced to crawl in penance. - Europhile here refers to the euro currency, not the EU, although reading the article raises doubts). But back to Sir Cyril. He praises Germany.
Because we have a common law legal structure, our law evolves to incorporate EU rules and these are rigorously enforced by our officials. The result, for example, is that the absurd health and safety rules on young apprentices introduced by the EU have been allowed to reduce dramatically the number of apprenticeships, especially in small firms ...
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