Young workers on the national minimum wage have received a pay rise worth up to £450 a year.
The minimum rate for workers aged 18 to 24 has increased by 25p an hour, putting 21 to 24-year-olds on £6.95 an hour and 18 to 20-year-olds on £5.55.
The legal minimum for 16 and 17-year-olds rises by 13p to £4 an hour, while apprentices under 19 see it rise by 10p to £3.40 an hour.
But the TUC argued that all workers should receive the so-called national living wage of £7.20 an hour, which currently applies to only those over the age of 25.
General secretary Frances O’Grady said: “The increase will be welcome news for young workers, but there is no justification for paying people in their early twenties 25p an hour less than other adults.
“Their employment rate is rising and they work just as hard as older workers, yet are entitled to less at the end of the week.
“These young workers are getting a raw deal — it’s time for the government to bump them up to the full minimum wage.”
Business Secretary Greg Clark claimed that the increase “means our lowest-paid workers will benefit from their largest pay rise since the recession. This will make a real difference to hard-working people up and down the country and means, for the vast majority of workers, the national minimum wage is at its highest level in real terms.”