An alarming disconnect between the generations is highlighted by a new survey which dispels the widely held myth that young people just want to be famous.
The research released on 11 November by The Co-operative as part of its ‘Inspiring Young People’ campaign, shows that more than half of adults (58 per cent) think that the younger generation just wants fame and celebrity status.
The reality, however, is quite different with 76 per cent of those aged 25 and under stating that their main ambition was to have a prolonged and successful career. Whereas only seven per cent of the young people surveyed said they had ambitions to be a famous star.
The Co-operative, which launched its campaign in July to challenge the way young people are viewed and treated in this country and to support their future life goals and ambitions, asked 3,000 people across all ages and regions of the country about their thoughts on young people in society today.
Almost half of adults (46 per cent) believe that young people admire their friends more than their parents or teachers with almost three quarters of adults (73 per cent) believing that young people didn’t admire their parents at all.
In actual fact, more than half of the young people surveyed (54 per cent) listed a parent as the person they admire above all others.
Our future generation is also misunderstood when it comes to respecting their elders with a staggering 83 per cent of adults believing that young people have a lack of respect for them. In contrast, young people demonstrated a much higher level of respect for adults with 43 per cent saying that they respected those who were much older themselves.
Commenting on the survey, Group Secretary Moira Lees said: “This survey gives a worrying insight into the gap that exists between the generations in this country and, sadly, as a society, we harbour a widespread negative attitude towards young people which doesn’t encourage or help to inspire them.
“All too often, we see or hear stories which portray youngsters as poorly educated, work-shy and uncaring,” she said. “As someone who helps run a business which employs over 120,000 people, a quarter of whom are aged 25 and under, I know this just isn’t true – we must start talking up the young in this country and see them as the solution rather than the problem.