Flo-Joe for Cambridge English Exams

Cambridge English: Advanced

Check out students' answers to Flo-Joe's CAE Writing tasks with a teacher's feedback

Writing Class: Essay

Task Type: Essay

Your class has been discussing whether school/college leavers should be forced to do unpaid work if no paid jobs are available. You have made the notes below:

Arguments for and against forcing young people into jobs that are not paid:

  • it gives young people the chance to gain valuable work experience.
  • it would benefit society if more young people worked for the local community.
  • companies would be exploiting young people as a cheap source of labour.

Some opinions expressed during the discussion:

  • If the job needs doing the company should be prepared to pay for someone's labour.
  • Such a scheme would build confidence in young people who would otherwise be idle
  • It would force young people into dead-end jobs

Write an essay discussing TWO of the arguments made for and/or against making young people do unpaid work. You should explain which argument is more important, 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. (around 220-260 words)

Makeover: Joy

Read Joy's answer to this question below. Try correcting the piece of writing yourself first: use the marking codes to think about what might be wrong (or what's good) about the piece of work. Then when you're ready, click the green buttons in the text for our feedback.

School and college leavers often find themselves in the bad WW situation of having no paid work. Some people suggest to take WF on an unpaid job in this situation, others highly WW dissuade /\ to do WF something like this. What should one recommend to a young person with this challenge?

First of all, it is important for every person to work. Without a job, people tend to loose their self-confidence and often get depressed. So, there is surely no reason to do nothing. While some say it is headless WW to accept an unpaid job it is still better than doing nothing. More than that, to work always makes WW one to improve their skills, to get work-experience and to get to know new people. The latter is always helpful in case one tries to find a new job. To work somewhere unpaid for example, could always mean that one could get a paid job at the same place later on.

Another important aspect is that the WW local business would often benefit from the fresh ideas and adolescent power of young people. One could argument WF that it is not fair to benefit from employees without paying them a salary. But as already mentioned, improving skills and gaining work experience could also be looked at as a salary.

To sum up, I feel that it would be better if anyone T, WW could earn at least a little salary. WM If it is just work experience, it is still better than nothing. No one has WF to do an unpaid job for ages. WM Young people should be encouraged to take on even unpaid jobs but to stay motivated to apply for paid ones.


A good essay. You have dealt with two issues in the task. You dealt with gaining work experience in paragraph 2. In paragraph 3 you looked at whether companies are exploiting young people. I think you could have stated more directly the issue of expoitation here since the opening sentence is very positive. Nevertheless, well done for stating which one is the more important in your conclusion.

Communicative Achievement
You have written the piece in the format of an essay and used an appropriate academic style. This would have a very positive impression on the reader, who would be fully informed.

The essay is very clearly and logically organised, with clear paragraphing. In the main discourse markers are used effectively, though make a note of the suggestions in the conclusion with regards to the missing linking words. Using the ones I suggested makes it clear that your emphasis is on gaining work experience.

A good piece of writing. You have shown your ability to use grammatical structures and vocabulary to express simple and more complex ideas effectively. Not too many mistakes, though note that very common one - using the wrong form after 'suggest'!

Well done!

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Marking Code

/\ Word(s) missing

- Omit word

C Capitalization

Gd Good

O Organisation

P Punctuation

PE Poorly expressed

R Register/Formality

SS Sentence Structure

S Spelling

T Tip (Not wrong but a suggestion)

WF Wrong form

WO Word order

WT Wrong tense

WW Wrong word