Former Dragon James Caan asks parents to allow their children to be responsible for their own careers

Youngsters should stand on their own two feet and search for jobs themselves rather than allow their parents to do it for them, according to a top entrepreneur.

Speaking to the Daily Telegraph, ex-Dragon's Den panellist James Caan said mums and dads should only interfere and use their contacts and influence in the business world if their offspring fail to find employment within a year of leaving education.

The newspaper reports that Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has made Mr Caan the Government's new social mobility tsar and he used his new position to rally against unpaid internships.

He said parents are often too quick to arrange work experience or jobs for their children, but in doing so they are hindering their development as they have not worked hard to achieve the roles themselves.

The former Dragon said going to a public school inspired him to succeed and businesses can benefit from employing people from more deprived backgrounds as often they produce people who are the most determined to prove themselves and work harder.

Mr Caan said he did not find it easy to make his way in the business world and he had to strive to stand out from the crowd. He started Alexander Mann, a UK recruitment business that eventually stretched to 30 offices worldwide and had a turnover of 130 million.

He then launched Humana International, a franchise that extended to 147 offices in 30 different countries before selling both companies in 1999.

The British-Pakistani businessman said it is important to get away from the suggestion that the top jobs are not dependent on what you know but who you know and called for employers to hire people who consider such opportunities as more valuable.

Mr Caan is now CEO of Mayfair-based Hamilton Bradshaw, a company involved in business buyouts and turnarounds, venture capital and property.

He was a Dragon between 2007 and 2010. He said paid work experience would lead to "good discipline" on both sides and he wants young job seekers and potential entrepreneurs to be aware of the consequences of their actions and decision-making.

Copyright Press Association 2013