The average pay of young women is 15 per cent less than the figure for men with equivalent vocational qualifications, according to research by the Trades Union Congress (TUC).
The TUC's analysis of figures from the Office of National Statistics concludes that employed women aged between 22 and 30 with vocational qualifications at level 2 or higher were found to earn, on average, £8.50 per hour - £1.50 less than the figure for men with equivalent qualifications.
The figure covers vocational qualifications up to level 5. The gender pay gap narrows to 10.5 per cent among men and women of the same age group but with academic qualifications.
The TUC said that one of the main reasons young women earned less than their male peers was because they worked predominantly in sectors where pay was lower.
General secretary Frances O’Grady said: “Young women with vocational qualifications experience a huge gender pay gap. Many are still pursuing careers in ‘traditional’ industries that offer lower wages. Whereas in better-paid sectors like engineering and construction they remain a rarity.
“Unless we challenge gender stereotyping and discrimination from the outset, the situation is not going to improve. Unions, employers and government must work together to provide better careers advice in schools and to support and improve training opportunities for all young people.”
Last month, research by the University and College Union found that in almost two-thirds of the colleges analysed, male lecturers were paid on average £1,000 more than their female colleagues.