Your class has listened to a panel discussion about how schools can best prepare young people for their future working lives. You have made the notes below:
Strategies aimed at preparing young people for their future working lives
• teaching practical skills
• providing information about jobs
• establishing links with local community
Some opinions expressed in the discussion:
“Schools should spend more time teaching practical things like car mechanics, cooking, computer programming, etc.”
“Young people need to know about a wide range of possible jobs.”
“Kids should have the opportunity to get work experience in local workplaces.”
Write an essay discussing two of the strategies in your notes. You should explain which strategy is most likely to be effective, giving reasons in support of your answer.
You may, if you wish, make use of the opinions expressed in the discussion, but you should use your own words as far as possible.
One of the essential goals of school education is to ensure that pupils are well prepared for their future lives in the workplace. This is arguably as important a task as teaching such academic subjects as history or chemistry.
There are many different ways in which schools can work towards achieving this aim. Firstly, they can make sure pupils learn basic practical skills. In the past, girls used to be taught how to knit and sew while boys learnt metalwork and carpentry. However, these days other skills such as working with spreadsheets or using computer-aided design software may be of more use to young people, both boys and girls, as they are skills that are frequently required in the modern workplace.
Another way in which schools can prepare youngsters for their working lives is by providing them with information about a wide variety of different careers. This is essential, as otherwise students would be likely to restrict their job choices to careers already familiar to them, often because of family members’ involvement in those fields. It is clearly preferable for young people to be made aware of the enormous range of types of work that is available for them to choose from.
Of the two ways outlined above, informing pupils about career opportunities is the more important. This is because, while it is certainly not impossible to learn practical skills later in life, selecting which career path you wish to follow is a decision that cannot be delayed but has to be taken as soon as you leave school.