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City & Guilds shows small business owners very much admired

The increasingly short shelf-life of reality shows and blink-and-you’ll-miss-them pop stars has been largely responsible for many young people of today thinking that anyone who wants to can have their five minutes of fame and potentially make a fortune from it.

While the lure of instant celebrity and the indulgent lifestyle that can accompany it appeals to many young people in the UK, new research from the City & Guilds vocational skills qualification body has found that when it comes to genuine role models, people still seem to have their heads screwed on properly.

Research published by the City & Guilds Centre for Skills Development (CSD) has found that majority of the people on their courses still have much more admiration for self-made entrepreneurs who have gone down the hard graft – rather than instant gain – route to success.

Some of recent history’s most ingenious and resourceful entrepreneurs and creative minds were at the top of the list that emerged from the organisation’s Making Sure Tomorrow Works study, carried out by the Future Foundation. Of the 1,544 14 to 20-year-olds who were surveyed for the research, some 53 per cent said they admired Harry Potter creator, JK Rowling, while 50 per cent said they admired Sir Richard Branson and 37 per cent listed Facebook creator, Mark Zuckerberg, as someone who inspires them.

Nearly three-quarters of the respondents to the survey said that they admired people who build their own businesses, a category that encompasses many of the country’s skilled and successful tradesmen and women in the construction sector.

At the other end of the scale ‘of the moment’, instant celebrities such as Justin Bieber and Kim Kardashian were admired by eight per cent and four per cent of the respondents respectively.

Russell Pocock, the head of learner engagement for City & Guilds, said that the survey highlighted that young people are taking their inspiration from balanced and reasonable sources, and still view independent business owners as people to be very much admired. He said, “The figures reveal a picture of a balanced and mature generation who understand the importance of talent, hard work and good values in achieving career success.”