“HUGE numbers” of young people are struggling to meet basic living standards due to low pay, despite being the “most qualified group of workers ever,” the TUC has claimed.
Research by the federation of trade unions has shown that the “generational pay gap” - the void between under-30s and over-30s - in Yorkshire, had increased by a third in the last 20 years.
In real terms, the gap between younger and older workers has increased from £2,995 in 1998 to £4,867 in 2017 for someone working a 40-hour week - an increase of £1,872 over the last two decades.
The research, carried out to mark the 150th year of the TUC, highlights the challenges young people today face in the world of work, including low pay, insecurity and lack of progression, the body said.
Nationally, more than a third (36.1 per cent) of under-30s are currently work in caring, sales or elementary occupations, compared to just over a quarter of over-30s.
The number of 21 to 30-year-olds working in low-paid industries like private social care and hotels and restaurants has shot up since 1998, even though today’s young workers are the most qualified generation ever.
Those in social care has risen by 104 per cent, while those in hospitality have risen by 80 per cent.
TUC Regional Secretary for Yorkshire and the Humber, Bill Adams said: “Young people are getting a raw deal at work. Too many are stuck in low paid, insecure jobs, with little opportunity to get on in life.
“This is the most qualified group of workers ever.
“But huge numbers of hardworking young people are struggling to meet basic living costs – and many more can’t afford a home of their own or are putting off having children.”
The TUC is attempting to address the issues by encouraging young workers to join trade unions.
It has also launched a new app, WorkSmart, that helps young people to progress at work, build relationships with co-workers, and learn about their rights.
“Joining together in a trade union is the best way to get a better deal at work,” Mr Adams said.
“That’s why we’re committed to reaching out to more young people in workplaces where there isn’t a union.”
The body will hold its annual congress in Manchester next month, from Sunday September 9 to Wednesday September 12.