Young people from jobless families are more likely to grow up feeling talentless and expecting to end up on the dole, a charity report suggests.
Prince's Trust research involving 2,048 16 to 24-year-olds found those whose parents did not work were twice as likely as their peers to feel they had no skills or talents.
It also found 20% expected to end up on benefits like those around them.
Ministers said a new work programme and benefit reform would make a difference.
Almost two million children in the UK live in workless households, the highest number in the European Union, according to the Office for National Statistics.
Martina Milburn, chief executive of the Prince's Trust, said: "Too many young people are facing a cycle of worklessness and can't see a way out.
"It is a tragedy to think that so many feel condemned to a life on benefits.
"Only by giving young people skills, confidence and positive role models can we help them break out of this unemployment trap.
"If we fail to stop these disadvantaged young people becoming disadvantaged adults, this cycle will continue to blight these families for generations to come."
Amilah Mirza, 21, from Bradford, said it took her four years to break out of the cycle of unemployment in her family and become a youth worker.
"As a kid, I really wanted to get out there and make a difference. My father has always told me to get somewhere in life, but when he fell ill there was nobody else pushing me."
Of those, 674 were from "areas where most people were either unemployed or in dead-end jobs" and 500 were from workless households.
One in 10 of them claimed they struggled at school as a result of their parents' unemployment, according to the report. And they were more likely to leave school at 16 because their family and friends did the same, they said.
There were also indications that the prospects and confidence of young people could be knocked if they grew up in an area of high unemployment.
Two-fifths of those from such areas worried they would never find a good job and almost half (49%) said they had no role models.
Almost one in 10 (9%) said they had been driven to drugs, alcohol and crime due to a lack of opportunities in their area.
The report called Destined for the Dole? also found about three-quarters (76%) of young people wanted to find a good job and nearly two-thirds (65%) said their main aim was to support their family.
Employment minister Chris Grayling said: "This report serves to underline the scale of the challenge left behind by the last government.
"There are far too many communities in the UK where worklessness is endemic and is passing from generation to generation.
"We believe our plans for a national work programme and benefit reform are the only way to start to make a real difference."