Tough-talking tycoon Lord Sugar has hit out at parents for bringing up a generation fit only to claim benefits.

The controversial multi-millionaire claims out-of-touch youngsters should be sent out to work from the age of 13.

The outspoken face of BBC1's hugely popular The Apprentice branded Britain's £100 billion-a-year benefits bill "a joke".

The self-made millionaire claims introducing youngsters to hard graft early on will teach them the real value of money.

"Mums and dads are the culprits. When their kids get to 13 they should bring down the curtain and say, 'No, you can't have a PlayStation'," he said in an interview with The Sun. "If you want one, there's the supermarket - go down there and stack some shelves. Get yourself £40. Do that five times a week and you've got £200."

Children are instead brought up with their heads in the clouds and turn into young adults only fit for Government hand-outs, he said.

Britain's benefits culture also comes under attack: "The benefits system has got right out of hand. It is a total joke in this country. Why work when you can fill out a few forms and get paid for doing nothing?"

The tycoon, speaking just one week before turning 65, claims middle class youngsters with their heads in the clouds are among the worst offenders.

"Youngsters have got to stop thinking about becoming the next Zuckerberg. It's a trillion to one chance," he said. "What they need is mater and pater to say, 'Get a job, son'."

Despite his criticisms he does not believe the system will be changed any time soon. He said: "It will take a brave person to cull the benefits system and analyse who deserves and who doesn't."