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Teenagers and unpaid work essay

This is one of my model IELTS essays lessons where you can

  • read the essay
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  • get a full lesson on how to write the essay

Read the teenagers and unpaid work essay

Some people think that teenagers should do unpaid work to help society because this will help them to be better individuals and also improve the society as a whole. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this proposal?

While there are grounds to argue that it would benefit society and young people themselves if teenagers were made to do unpaid work in the community, it can equally be argued that this would be an infringement of their rights. In this essay, I shall examine the merits of both sides of the argument.

One argument in favour of making teenagers to do voluntary work in the community is that it would benefit society. It is certainly true that there is a shortage of labour in many parts of the public sector and if young people worked, then many public services would improve. For example, it would be quite possible for teenagers to do part-time jobs in the health such as working as hospital porters. This would have the effect of ensuring patients got better care and would allow trained professionals to concentrate on more skilled tasks – something that would benefit society as a whole.

A second argument is that teenagers would mature as individuals if they went out to work, especially if it was in the voluntary sector. Currently, many teenagers have little sense of social responsibility and spend much of their free time plying basketball or computer games. If, however, they were given real life tasks to do, they would learn important life skills such as responsibility, teamwork and leadership. These skills would almost certainly benefit them in their later careers.

Despite these arguments, there is an equally strong case to be made that it would be morally wrong to force teenagers to go out to work, particularly if they did not earn a salary. This can be explained by the fact that in recent years, there has been a global movement to stop the practice of child labour. The main philosophy behind this movement is that childhood, including the teenage years, should be a time for education and growth, not work. It would not just send the wrong message out if teenagers were made to do voluntary work, there is also the real danger that young people would be exploited in the workplace.

In conclusion, I believe that while there are real merits on both sides of the argument,  the moral case againstforcing young people to work slightly outweighs any benefit to society or to teenagers as individuals. This is reinforced by belief in the principle that childhood is a time for education and fear of the danger of exploitation.

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