Amass to impress

New research reveals that contrary to popular belief, teenagers in the UK are largely unimpressed by popular celebrities as role models for their career choices. Instead, they are looking to entrepreneurs for inspiration.

‘Making Sure Tomorrow Works,’ a study of 1544 14 to 20 year olds by the City & Guilds Centre for Skills Development, found that teenagers in Britain today are most impressed by people who have built successful careers based on their talents and business acumen.

When asked who they admire for their achievements, J.K. Rowling came out on top with 53%, closely followed by Richard Branson (50%) and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg (37%).

By contrast, those best known for their celebrity status, including reality TV personalities, pop stars and models, failed to impress today’s youngsters. Just 3% of those surveyed said they admired Kate Moss, followed by Kim Kardashian (4%), and Justin Beiber (8%).

The public figures identified as top role models by young people appear to be driving a trend when it comes to young people’s own career goals. Over a third (34%) of 18 to 20 year olds said they see themselves as self-employed or having started their own company ten years from now. It is clear that even today’s challenging economic climate is not deterring the Richard Branson’s of the future from their entrepreneurial ambitions.

Russell Pocock, Head of Learner Engagement, City & Guilds said: “The results of the study show a welcome departure from the common assumption that teenagers today only aspire to celebrity status and quick fame. Instead, what has been revealed here is a picture of a balanced and mature generation who understand the importance of talent, hard work and good values in achieving career success. That’s why City & Guilds is supporting The Skills Show – an annual event to showcase and celebrate skilled professions – so we can enable young people to recognise opportunities, inspire them to develop the skills they need to succeed, and help them shape their tomorrow.”

Ross Maloney, Chief Executive of The Skills Show comments: “With up to 100,000 young people expected to visit The Skills Show in November, it is clear that young Britons are keen to embrace all the learning and development opportunities open to them. The show provides the perfect forum for the talented young professionals of tomorrow to learn about and develop their own skills, as well as demonstrating their abilities to visitors and potential employers.  We are looking forward to inspiring the next generation and setting them on a path to successful and rewarding careers.”

The Skills Show is the UK’s biggest skills and careers event which is taking place at Birmingham NEC from 15th – 17th November. City & Guilds is premier sponsor.

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