Female apprentices in the UK are far more likely to end up in low-paid jobs as a result of training in female-dominated sectors, according to new research.
The TUC and the National Apprenticeship Service found while there has been a large rise in the number of women taking apprenticeships over the last ten years, many end up working in female-dominated sectors - including early-years childcare and hairdressing.
The groups' report warned these industries tend to have lower wages and suggested there is typically less chance of career progression.
The research also revealed that gender stereotyping is dissuading young women from pursuing careers in traditionally male industries.
"Unless we create better training and employment opportunities for young people, and challenge gender stereotyping and discrimination from the outset, the situation is not going to improve," said Frances O'Grady, general secretary of the TUC.
She added: "Unions, employers and government must work together to provide better careers advice in schools and to support and improve opportunities for all young people."
The report found in 2011/12 more than half (50.1%) of all apprenticeship starts were female.
But women made up just 2% of all apprenticeship starts in each of the construction, electro-technical and vehicle maintenance and repair sectors, and less than four per cent in the engineering and driving vehicles sectors.
In contrast, the TUC said more than nine out of every 10 apprentices who started in the hairdressing sector were women.
The report argued the "gendered imbalance" in apprenticeships mirrors the gender segregation seen in the workforce more generally.
The research also revealed black and Asian people continue to be under-represented in high-paid sectors.
Less than one in 25 black and Asian apprentices entered engineering (3.2%) construction (3.4%) and electro-technical (3.7%) in 2011/12.
The TUC said Asian people make up just 4.1% of the apprenticeship population, despite making up 7.5% of the wider UK population.