Academic Writing - Model Answer (Task 2)

In some countries, it can be difficult for people over the age of 50 to get good jobs, despite their experience. What do you think are the causes of this problem, and what measures could be taken to solve it?

Older workers have a wealth of useful knowledge and skills acquired over their working lives, however, this is often not taken into account when searching for a job as employees prefer to hire young, inexperienced workers mainly due to the fact that they will not demand a high salary.

This preference for younger workers may be due to the attitude that employers have of people over 50. Perhaps they think that these workers will lack ambition and will not work as hard as their careers are coming to an end or they may believe that they are too set in their ways and do not have the flexibility to be open to new ideas. As mentioned earlier, employers are not willing to pay a high starting salary to an older worker who will justify this in terms of their experience, training and skills acquired in their job. Finally, some employers might want to give younger workers a chance of starting their career and like the image of a young workforce.

The government might solve this problem by encouraging companies to hire workers over 50. They may for example agree to pay for half of the worker’s wage or allow a business to pay less tax if they do so. In addition, the retirement age can be changed so workers are forced to work until a much later stage in their lives.

Because of the greater ageing population in many countries workers are forced to continue working until a later age to support the economy and their small pension. Hiring workers over 50 benefits a company and the government should try to encourage this policy.

Question taken from Exam Essentials IELTS Practice Tests p.129
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