Former Microsoft CEO Bill Gates has beaten the likes of Simon Cowell and Jamie Oliver hands-down as the most popular boss to mentor young apprentices.
The findings, from a national ICM Omnibus poll, follow news that IT chiefs have been urged to provide apprenticeships for young people to ensure that businesses have the skills they need, with prime minster David Cameron recently extolling the virtues of apprenticeships as part of the government-backed National Apprenticeship Week.
The telephone poll of 1,100 people revealed that 43 per cent of 16 to 18 year olds would choose to work as an apprentice for Gates. Meanwhile, Cowell and Oliver received just 17 per cent and 22 per cent of the votes respectively.
"Our light-hearted question reveals the serious intent of many young people as they struggle to get a toe-hold in the jobs market," said Fiona McBride, CEO of Pearson Professional & Vocational Training.
"Rather than dreaming of the bright lights of TV, it seems that they recognise the value of learning the practical skills that will equip them for a long-term career with prospects."