Coffee chain Starbucks will raise the average hourly rate it pays its staff to £7.98 per hour and offer a help-to-rent scheme.

Coming into effect from April 2016, baristas will be paid the new National Living Wage of £7.20 per hour while supervisors will receive £8.72 per hour.

The new rate of pay will apply to all staff including apprentices and those under 25 and a premium will be paid to London partners to reflect the higher cost of living.

Starbucks will also offer its Home Sweet Loan programme, an interest free loan of up to a month’s wages for staff who have worked for the company for over a year and need help paying a rental deposit.

Kris Engskov, president of Starbucks EMEA said: “We know the cost of living is a key concern for many, with the average rental deposit in England now is £1,226.

“And with over half of our partners being under 25-years-old, that rent affordability especially is an issue that affects them."

The loan will issued within four weeks of an application, to be repaid over twelve months.