By Jonathan Davies

The UK National Minimum Wage (NMW) will rise by 20p to £6.70 an hour in October, the government has announced.

The 3% increase is set to benefit 1.4 million workers and is the single largest rise in real-terms in seven years.

The hourly rate for 18 to 20-year-olds will also go up by 3% from October, from £5.13 to £5.30, and by 2% for 16 and 17-year-olds, taking the rate to £3.87.

Apprentices will see a 20% rise - 57p - up to £3.30 an hour.

The majority of the increases were recommended by the Low Pay Commission, but the government instead opted for the 57p rise for apprentices, instead of the 7p recommended by the Commission.

Prime Minister David Cameron said the move would bring "more financial security" and "a better future" for workers. But Labour leader Ed Miliband said the minimum wage had been "eroded" under the current government.

The rate for apprentices applies to those aged 16-18, or 19 and over in their first year of employment. All other apprentices will receive the NMW for their age.

Announcing the changes, Mr Cameron said: "At the heart of our long-term economic plan for Britain is a simple idea - that those who put in, should get out, that hard work is really rewarded, that the benefits of recovery are truly national.

"That's what today's announcement is all about, saying to hardworking taxpayers, this is a government that is on your side. It will mean more financial security for Britain's families and a better future for our country."

Shadow business secretary Chuka Umunna said: "This 20p rise falls far short of the £7 minimum wage which George Osborne promised over a year ago. Ministers have misled working families who have been left worse off."

"Where under David Cameron we've seen the value of the minimum wage eroded, we need a recovery for working people."