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The shiny, happy teenager

The lazy, good-for-nothing teenager is a thing of the past, according to the latest research.

Far from slouching on the sofa and moaning, apparently today's young people are full of beans and optimism about life.

Even most of the so-called NEETS (those not in education, employment or training) who may be a thorn in the side of policy-makers, are just as positive-thinking as their counterparts in colleges and the workplace.

The NOP World poll found that 96 per cent of 11 to 18-year-olds felt positive about their future, while 88 per cent thought it is likely they will achieve their ideal job or career. Meanwhile 63 per cent believe they will be more successful than their parents.

Even among the NEETS, 77 per cent are positive about their future and 72 per cent believe they will get their ideal job, according to the poll - although it remains to be seen whether they will get the skills they need.

But when asked about their aspirations, teenagers reveal the careers they aspire to are somewhat more modest that the previous generation which fantasised about showbiz success.

Only 6 per cent want to be an actor or musician and just 10 per cent want to own a sports car.

Teenagers rate their relationships with other people, including their families, as being more important than materialistic considerations, such as how much money they earn.

Just 4 per cent of teenagers think they have fewer opportunities than other people in their age group.

So while Harry Enfield's "Kevin the teenager" cries "It's so unfair", it seems real young people don't agree with him.

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