Concerns about the gender pay gap starts at a worryingly young age, a study by skills and education organisation City & Guilds has shown. Girls aged 14-19 already estimate their wages at £7,000 less than teenage boys do.
City & Guilds surveyed more than 3,000 teenagers in a study which showed that both boys and girls strongly overstated their expected salary. The girls expected to make £36,876 a year 10 years after leaving education, while boys expect to earn an annual salary of £44,124.
The results put the gender pay gap at 16%. Although the study shows a worrying difference in expectations from a young age, the real gender pay gap taking in account both full- and part-time workers is at 19.2%, according to the Office for National Statistics.
The study also found that teenagers were relatively unaware of the range of jobs available to them. More than a quarter of survey respondents said they would like to work in professional, scientific and technical roles but less than 10% is expected to be employed in that sector by 2022. Two thirds of teenagers surveyed said they were planning on going to university, while City & Guilds expected that less than 30% of roles soon to be available on the market would be graduate rolls.
City & Guilds managing director Kirstie Donnelly said: "While university is a great path for many people, it's not the only one. It's time we told our young people the truth about the best way to get into work and broadened their horizons so they understand the full range of jobs available.
"The lack of access to careers advice was evident in the research with almost a third of respondents stating that they heard about their career from the media and only 14% of those surveyed saying they learned about their chosen career path from a careers advisor."