Pop star steps into the pupil job zone

Boyzone's lead singer Ronan Keating helps to launch Sky TV's career initiative for teenagers. Sarah Cassidy reports.

YOUNG people need better careers advice and more support if they are to pursue their ambitions, pop singer Ronan Keating told teenage fans yesterday.

The 23-year-old singer-songwriter, who fronts boy band Boyzone and manages pop sensations Westlife, attended the first anniversary celebrations of a careers initiative which has seen 1,200 teenagers take part in advice and work-experience programmes.

Ronan, tipped as a future Irish presidential candidate, took part in an on line chat to mark the first year of a nationwide initiative for teenagers, Reach for the Sky.

"Teenagers are our future and anything we can do to get them thinking about who they are and what they want to do with their lives has got to be worthwhile," he said.

Ronan is patron of the Sky Television initiative, now in its second year.

The three-yearproject aims to give young people careers advice, inspiration and encouragement via a website, magazines and careers programmes. They concentrate on 15 areas including journalism, science and technology, environment, music and entertainment, sport and community matters.

Research commissioned last year by BSkyB showed that the main concern of more than a third of pupils is what job they will have when they leave school. Eighty per cent told pollsters that they had no intention of following their parents' careers, with 48 per cent saying they want a job which reflects their hobbies and passions.

More than two-thirds (67 per cent) felt their school had not prepared them for the outside world, a separate poll for the Industrial Society found.

The Reach for the Sky magazine is available free and contains information on future opportunities and a careers questionnaire. To obtain a copy call 07769 581 280. See

www.reachforthesky.co.uk


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