All young people will be given specialist careers advisers under a shake-up of the careers service designed to stop teenagers dropping out of jobs.

All young people will be given specialist careers advisers under a shake-up of the careers service designed to stop teenagers dropping out of jobs.

The advisers will give independent guidance to prevent young people making poor career choices and end "education mis-selling".

They will be at the heart of a new youth support service for all teenagers, designed to replace the careers and youth services. Adults, young people and pensioners will also be recruited as volunteer mentors.

The new "Connexions" service, to start next year in five pilot areas, is designed to reduce the total of 170,000 young people who are not in education, training or work.

David Blunkett, the Secretary of State for Education and Employment, said: "Wrong choices often lead to wasted lives. Connexions will integrate and rationalise current advisory and support services into a coherent framework of support, anchored in a single point of contact offered by personaladvisers."

The new service will use the 12,000 careers and young service staff now working for local authorities and privatised local careers companies.

The mentorswill provide guidance on academic and vocational courses, plan career moves and also "bang heads together" to deal with out-of-school problems.

Malcolm Wicks, the minister for lifelong learning in MrBlunkett's department, saidindependent advice was vitalto prevent "education misselling", which he likened to the pensions mis-selling scandals of the 1980s.

Headteachers welcomed the new service, but Theresa May, the shadow Education Secretary, condemned the idea as "yet another example of government interference and the nanny state".

The pilot schemes will run in Coventry and Warwickshire; Devon and Cornwall; Lewish-am, south-east London; Hampshire; and Humberside.

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