FAST food chain Subway has been blasted for seeking to pay “apprentice sandwich artists” just £3.50 an hour.
The chain’s branch in Gateshead, Tyne and Wear, was looking for people willing to work from from 8am to 5pm five days a week – for just £119.
The ad, which appeared on Government site, has since been pulled.
It offered to pay less than £120 for 35 hours a week which included some weekend days.
The rate is the bare minimum that employers are required to pay apprentices by law.
The ad suggested apprentices would carry out the same tasks as normal Subway employees, the Independent reports.
Tasks included using the cash register, collecting money, cashing up, preparing food and cleaning the restaurant.
Rhys McCarthy, national officer for Unite, said Subway’s advert “stretches the definition of apprenticeship to breaking point.
“The multinational sandwich maker is looking more like a rip-off artist.”
Mr McCarthy said the union welcomed the return of genuine apprenticeships but the scheme should not be used as an “exploitation charter by unscrupulous bosses to hire young people on the cheap.
“We certainly don’t expect rich multinationals like Subway to be exploiting young people in this way.”
A Subway spokesperson has said that it does not operate a nationally accredited apprenticeship scheme, but that some branches pursue their own programmes independently.
They added that the franchisee who runs the Gateshead store was unaware of the advert and that it had been posted by a recruitment consultant.
The spokesperson said : “The SUBWAY brand offers a comprehensive training programme for all its team members from franchisees to Sandwich Artists™. Each franchisee candidate is required to complete formal training and Sandwich Artists™ are trained on customer service excellence, food quality and health and safety procedures.”
Earlier this month a Subway worker appeared to racially abuse a customer who had an Asian accent.
It has also emerged that Subway chicken in Canada is only 50% chicken.
Credit: The Sun