Teenagers give sector thumbs up, finds study

SIMON ELLERY

Young teenagers respect charity workers second only to their parents but rank the charitable sector at the bottom of the list of preferred career choices, according to a new survey.

The contradiction is revealed in a one-off survey by independent think-tank the Future Foundation, commissioned as part of satellite broadcaster BSkyB's relaunched Reach For The Sky initiative.

From 500 respondents aged between 13 and 18, 38 per cent had greatest respect for parents, with charity workers coming in at 18 per cent, above firemen at 13 per cent.

The results are reversed for the roles they would most like to do with charity worker bottom of the list at 3 per cent. Self-made millionaire topped the list with 24 per cent ahead of professional sportsperson at 22 per cent.

Future Foundation senior consultant and report author Nick Rand described the findings as surprising with respondents showing "sophisticated" choices.

"While respecting their parents most, they are pragmatic about the importance of a good paypacket," he said. "It's not quite the idea of the rebellious teenager - they are more into material goods."

Meanwhile, separate research has shown that 83 per cent of young people did something charitable last month. On top of this, 96 per cent said they would give money and/or time in the future, according to a study of 590 young people aged between 16 and 24 by Charities Aid Foundation and Joseph Rowntree Foundation.

The research suggests that young people's involvement in charity and community matters has been severely underestimated.

It found that young people donate on average £6.24 each month with 25 per cent giving because they want to make a difference to society and value "people causes" above all others.

Medical research and care top the list at 35 per cent, followed by helping children and young adults at 19 per cent and Third World and overseas aid at 17 per cent.

CAF head of research and report author Dr Catherine Walker said: "Because young people don't have much money, charities often fail to offer them the right opportunities. But young people are often time rich, committed and idealistic."

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