October 26, 2009 / 3:52 PM / 11 years ago

UK kids as young as 9 to receive career advice

LONDON (Reuters Life!) - Children in British primary schools as young as nine are to receive advice via internet sites such as YouTube on their future career paths under a new scheme, the government said Monday.

Under the program designed to help children of all socio-economic backgrounds realize their goals, students will be given mentors, have the chance to visit universities, and be given counseling on what subjects to study via social networking sites like Facebook.

A recent study showed that 75 percent of 11-year-olds wanted to attend university, the government said.

“Parents tell us they want to see an end to the old boys network that means only children from privileged backgrounds get their foot in the door,” Ed Balls, schools secretary, said in a statement.

“It is often too late for children to start thinking about this at 14 when they are influenced from when they are seven, eight and nine,” he said.

The program, which will be trialed in 38 schools is designed to encourage pupils to think about their work aspirations at a young age, the government said.

The pilot schools will be located in Bristol, Coventry, Gateshead, Manchester, Plymouth, Reading and York.

Reporting by Catherine Bosley; Editing by Stefano Ambrogi and Paul Casciato

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