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Soaps Urged to Get Real on Skills


Soaps are failing to provide positive role models for young people, according to the Learning and Skills Council (LSC).

The LSC believes characters in soaps such as Eastenders and Coronation Street have unrealistic skills and qualifications, and are often shown in dead-end jobs.

Julia Dowd, Director of Young People’s Learning at the LSC said: "Young people in soaps are role models, and if they remain in dead end jobs there is a danger that young people will accept this as the norm. Far too many soap characters have no career aspirations, and we need to at least show them moving towards a better life.”

Top of this list of under-achievers is Eastender Stacey Slater, who, the LSC says, despite having many transferable skills, is stuck in her job on the market.

The LSC has conducted its own research, which it says shows that young people are not as short of aspiration as their fictional counterparts.

The study showed that one in three (32%) teenagers would like to be known for starting a successful business, with a further quarter (25%) wanting their fame to spawn from academic achievement. By 19, over 69% of young people have five GCSEs A*-C or vocational equivalent.

Dowd added: “While most young people have high aspirations, there are still thousands without a minimum set of qualifications which employers say they would need applicants to have, and we need the role models on TV to set a good example."


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