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School leavers would rather have a career as a pop star than a policeman or politician


Young people in Britain are shying away from jobs involving manual labour, with one in six 18-24 year-olds aspiring either to be a famous singer, actor or member of a band.

According to history website findmypast.co.uk there has never been such a stark contrast between the career choices of today's young people and the manual jobs performed by their ancestors.

In the 1911 census some of the most popular occupations recorded included working in domestic service, agriculture, mining, building and the cotton industry. But less than 1% of young Brits in the 21st century would like to have a manual job such as a builder or plumber.

Other jobs, which are unpopular with today's youth, include politicians or police officers, with only 1% of young people aspiring to be a politician and only 4% aspiring to be a police officer.

Debra Chatfield, marketing manager at findmypast.co.uk, said: "It seems the growing obsession with celebrity has really impacted on young people's career choices these days, as our study reveals how the more non-traditional jobs now come high up on the wish-list.

"Times have certainly changed when it comes to young people's career choices. A look at the 1911 census provides a fascinating insight into the professions of our ancestors and you can really see how times have dramatically changed.  On the other hand, in some cases, it can be interesting to see how some families have carried the same profession down through the family tree to the modern day."

Most popular career choices 2010

1      Musician, famous singer or band member

2      Teacher/lecturer

3      Sportsman/woman

4      Actress/actor

5      Scientist


Most popular occupations 1911 Census

1      Domestic service

2      Agriculture

3      Mining

4      Building

5      Cotton industry