Female trainees earn far less than the men

18th November 2005 at 00:00
Young women who do on-the-job training earn pound;40 less per week than their male counterparts, according to research for the Department for Education and Skills.

Campaigners said women are entering traditional female occupations such as hairdressing without realising these industries are the worst paid.

The study of 5,500 young people undertaking an apprenticeship in 11 industries found male trainees take home an average of pound;153 per week, compared to pound;113 for females. More than seven out of 10 trainees earning less than pound;80 per week were female and men were much more likely to be paid for overtime.

The lowest paid work was hairdressing at pound;90 per week and the highest in the electro-technical sector at pound;183. Ninety-three percent of the apprentice hairdressers were women while all those in the electro-technical sector were men.

Jenny Watson, acting chair of the Equal Opportunities Commission, called for improvements in career advice and better access for gitls to work experience in traditionally male occupations.

She said: "Young people should not have their career options and future pay limited by a lack of information. We know that eight in ten girls and over half of boys say they'd like to try a non-traditional career - yet fewer than 2 per cent of construction apprentices are female. The young people involved in our investigation were very clear that better information about pay levels would have prompted them to think again about their choices."

The gender pay gap is lower in sectors where there is a more even split between men and women. Male trainees in the hospitality industry earn an average 15 per cent more than women and those in retail take home 11 per cent more. Phil Hope, skills minister, said: "Youngsters need to make the right choices about the apprenticeships to take up, and knowing about potential earnings is a vital part of their decision.

"The research which covered the sectors with the highest numbers of apprenticeships will be available to Connexions advisers to ensure young people can be given more information about the pay in different sectors."

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar, Buyagift.com, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today