Model Answer – IELTS (Task 2)

Some people think it is very important to get a university education. Others feel we should encourage more young people to take up a trade such as plumbing, painting or building to ensure a good balance of skills in our society.

Discuss both these views and give your opinion.

University has become a popular destination for high school leavers. With many opportunities for further education, fewer young people are resorting to traditional trades in the construction and service sector. As a result, the job market has a shortage of skilled labour and favouritism is shown towards graduates with a university degree.

Those who support that a university education is vital, might believe that this type of learning enables a student to have a theoretical perspective in a field of study, broadens horizons and increases the chance of finding an attractive position which is not physically demanding. On the other hand, skilled labour is important for society. All buildings require regular maintenance and although the demand for this type of work is extremely high, the supply of these types of workers is limited. This often means that a country has to import labour from elsewhere to cover its shortage.

In an ideal world there would be a good balance of skills and people would be able to find reliable handymen whenever they needed them. However, I feel that each individual should pursue the path that is closest to their heart whether this leads to university or technical training. Naturally, if someone is inclined towards taking up a trade they should be encouraged to do so.

To conclude, although having equal amounts of workers in each profession would ensure a balance of skills in society, in my opinion, this would be difficult to achieve. Even though programmes exist to encourage young people to be involved in trade related jobs, each individual has their own ambitions and career path they wish to follow.

Question from p.99 New Insights into IELTS - Workbook
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