General Training Model Answer – IELTS (Task 2)

In the past, many people had skills such as making their clothes and doing repairs to things in the house. In many countries nowadays, skills like these are disappearing.

Why do you think this change is happening? How far is this situation true in your country?

Our grandparents were much more resourceful than us. They did not live in a society where mass production was the norm so their skills were better than ours. They appreciated the few possessions they owned either making them by hand or repairing any broken items instead of throwing them away.

Today, society has changed dramatically. Almost all our products are made in China or other developing countries like Vietnam. Consumer products are made in factories at a very low cost and therefore are also sold at attractive prices. Why would someone learn how to make their own clothes when they can purchase a cheap T-shirt very easily? In addition, when anything breaks in the house, it is simple to replace it. Advances in technology means that consumers are keen to update their products yearly.

In Cyprus, young people specialize in the field they are interested in and spend their free time having fun. Traditional skills like making chairs are dying out, even in this small society with parents complaining that their children are disinterested in learning any type of useful skill. Many low priced commodities are imported from abroad and young people do not follow in their parent’s footsteps as they do not show an interest in trade and skilled labour.

In fact, having a skill is often looked down upon by Cypriots who spend their working lives in air-conditioned offices doing administrative work. It is very rare to find a young person repairing furniture, electrical items or sewing their own clothes. We live in a society of easy come, easy go.

Question taken from IELTS 4 Past Papers p.115
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