You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.
A country should spend money on skills training or vocational training for practical work, rather than on university education. To what extent do you agree or disagree?
Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.
Write at least 250 words.
It is true that in some countries, students are not encouraged to follow a vocational training course. While nobody can deny the need for university graduates, I totally agree that governments should provide funding for more people to qualify as electricians, plumbers or other essential manual workers.
It is essential to continue to allocate resources to university education. In the sciences, there is a growing demand for researchers and professionals in fields such as genetics, medicine and leading-edge technology. Only through university training can school- leavers acquire a good grasp of specialised areas of knowledge. For example, the search for a vaccine to combat the corona virus outbreak shows the need for virologists, statisticians and other academically-trained experts in related areas. In terms of the humanities, universities play a leading role in the formation of those creative individuals
who pursue a successful career in literature, drama, the arts and even in the advertising industry.
However, I completely agree with the argument that countries should prioritise expenditure on vocational skills training. Firstly, such workers are vital when, for instance, new buildings are constructed or when existing buildings have to be renovated or simply maintained. Indeed, in many countries, a permanent maintenance staff of skilled tradesmen is employed in hospitals, schools or museums, ensuring the safety of all who use the buildings. Secondly, in some developed countries, there is an existing imbalance in the economy, resulting in graduate unemployment, while at the same time there is a shortage of skilled labour. Governments in those countries need, therefore, to work with employers to ensure that extra vocational training is provided.
In conclusion, vocational training must be high on the agenda of governments to avoid a shortage of practical, skilled employees, while investment should continue in the universities.
Vocabulary from government:
to provide funding for: to give money to enable something to be done
Example: Providing funding for health care must be a priority of governments.
to allocate resources to: to make money and materials available to do something
Example: If governments allocate more resources to improving public transport, this will reduce the problem of traffic congestion in cities.
to prioritise expenditure on: to put the need to spend money on certain things first
Example: I believe that it is important to prioritise expenditure on medical research in order to save lives.
high on the agenda: something which is among the first things in the list of actions to be taken
Example: The rehabilitation of prisoners must be high on the agenda of prison authorities everywhere.
Vocabulary from technology:
leading-edge technology: the most advanced position in technology
Example: Manufacturers of electronic devices always advertise their products as having the latest leading-edge/cutting-edge technology.
Vocabulary from education:
to have/to acquire a good grasp of something: to understand a problem deeply and completely
Example: Children who begin to learn a foreign language in primary school are usually able to acquire a good grasp of the new language quickly.
Vocabulary from work:
to pursue a successful career: to have a series of jobs in a particular area of work, with more responsibility as time passes
Example: While many people wish to pursue a successful career, for others it is more important to find work which is interesting and enjoyable.
virologist [noun]: a scientist who studies viruses and the diseases caused by them
Example: In many countries, virologists are working together to find out more about the corona virus.
the humanities [noun]: the subjects of study that relate to the way people think and behave, for example literature, history and philosophy
Example: She wants to study the humanities at university, specialising in language and literature.
the arts [noun]: a group of subjects that might include music, painting, drama
Example: Government funding for the arts has enabled theatres and art galleries to remain open.
tradesman [noun]: a person whose job requires special practical skills, such as a plumber
Example: Their house is being repaired by skilled tradesmen.