Model Answer - Ielts Writing (Task 2)

In many countries children are engaged in some kind of paid work. Some people regard this as completely wrong, while others consider it as valuable work experience, important for learning and taking responsibility.

What are your opinions on this?

In many countries there are laws stating the minimum working age, for example minors under 16 are forbidden to work while in other parts of the world such as in Africa, children can be seen working in fields. Some Asian countries like China have been criticized for operating ‘sweat shops,’ that is, allowing young children to work in factories for long hours at a less than minimum wage.

In European countries, teenagers often have some sort of part-time job. Although they are not assigned to positions of great responsibility, they can learn many things on the job. This valuable experience teaches them how the adult world works, how a business functions, how to be responsible and accountable as well as the value of money. It builds their self-confidence and improves their communication skills.

Those living in the West would criticize those in developing countries for allowing children to work. Perhaps their definition of a child is someone under 12. As they live in different conditions where helping hands aren’t required on farms and in factories, they are critical of these practices. Maybe they recall the lessons of history and the Industrial Revolution when young children worked in coal mines or in factories earning a living.

I think that 16 year old teenagers should be encouraged to work on a part-time basis to cover their expensive and take responsibility for their lives without burdening their parents while simultaneously receiving an education. On the other hand, we can’t judge the extreme poverty, cultural practices and necessity for children to work in less developed countries of the world, where not working equates starvation.

Cambridge, Ielts 3 past papers, p.74
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