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Careers not a family affair;FE Focus

TEENAGERS are more likely to seek inspiration for their careers from their parents than from their teachers, friends or television, according to a survey of their aspirations, writes Harvey McGavin.

But the poll of 800 14 to 16-year-olds found that although 57 per cent looked to their parents for ideas, 80 per cent said they were "not at all likely" to follow parents' footsteps.

For specific advice on job opportunities 82 per cent would trust careers officers before parents (59 per cent) and teachers (51 per cent). The survey - part of Sky Television's Reach for the Sky programme of careers information for schoolchildren - found that, given the chance, 14 per cent of teenage boys would turn to footballer Michael Owen for career advice.

However, only 6 per cent of respondents thought that footballers and other professional sports people had secure careers. Doctors, with 35 per cent of votes, were thought to have the most job security and retailers, at just 2 per cent, the least, the survey found.

Their future remains a major preoccupation for children approaching school-leaving age, with 23 per cent saying they think about it "all the time" and 70 per cent "sometimes".

A 64-page Reach for the Sky magazine carrying interviews, information and advice on dozens of careers is available free to teachers, youth workers, career advisers and other professionals by calling 0870 904 5060.

The scheme also gives teenagers the chance to attend four-day career workshops in the environment, journalism, music and entertainment, science and technology and sports next year.

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