The report, carried out by the government’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, found the gap had almost doubled since 2016.
Researchers discovered women were more likely to be illegally paid less than the minimum wage and just two in five women receive formal training as part of their apprenticeship compared to three in five men.
Campaigners warn young women are pushed into lower quality and less well-paid apprenticeships, which have fewer opportunities to progress, and carry on earning less than male counterparts for years after their apprenticeships end.
Sophie Walker, of the Young Women’s Trust, said: “Occupational segregation in schools means boys are funnelled into construction roles whereas women go into caring, catering, cleaning and clerical roles, which pay a lot less than traditional male roles. It is massive and multilayered sexism that women get entangled in very early on.
“This report once again highlights the sexism and discrimination that young women face even at the very beginning of their careers. This discrimination not only shuts them out of apprenticeships such as engineering and construction that have the best opportunities for pay and progression but fails to provide high-quality opportunities in childcare and social care in which the majority of young women apprentices work.
“It is young women who are least likely to benefit from apprenticeships and who stand to gain most from these changes.”
The chief executive of the organisation, which helps young women on low or no pay, noted political parties tend to focus on physical rather than social infrastructure when they discuss economic growth. She called for greater investment in childcare and social care to ensure working in such industries is “valued” and provides equivalent levels of pay and security as other apprenticeships.