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IELTS Writing Sample #112

You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.

Companies should encourage employees who work in a high position to leave at the age of 55 in order to give opportunities to the new generation.

To what extent do you agree or disagree with this opinion?

You should write at least 250 words.

Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.

model answer:

I totally disagree with the idea of high-level employees leaving at the age of 55 to make room for the upcoming generation. While it is true that the energy level and fresh ideas of youth can rejuvenate a company, the steady hand of experience can still best guide a company in most cases.

In English there is a saying, “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” In the fast-paced world of business, bolstered by even faster hi-tech innovations, a younger more pliant mind would seem to be able to adapt with greater flexibility, while such an environment might boggle an older more set-in-its-ways mind. Take, for example, Microsoft’s Bill Gates, whose energy and brilliant insights as a youth helped him to pioneer new territory in the computer software world and establish a digital empire. Now as a more mature CEO, this king of the “computer” mountain is constantly on the verge of being knocked down by upcoming digeratti entrepreneurs. However, it is now the experience he has accumulated as an older man which keeps him on top. So, combining the vigour and innovation of younger workers with the experience of older workers would seem to be the winning hand in the world of business.

The assertion is to give opportunities to the younger generation. If everyone retires at 55, there will be smaller pool of experience at the company. So, who will show them the ropes of the trade? It would be as if we lopped off the last few chapters of a textbook. On this point the argument would seem to be built on false presumptions.

And think of all the other problems retirement at 55 would create. With life expectancy in many advanced nations at 70-plus years, how would the state along with private enterprises be able to support their retirement pensions? The economic repercussions of such an idea could be great.

Besides, the Western form of capitalism is built on competition and merit and not seniority according to age, and democracy is built on equality for all regardless of one’s age, so the argument clearly goes against these two pillars of Western society.

Granted, my counter-arguments are perhaps as simplistic as the original assertion itself, but without qualifying the assertion with greater supporting evidence or background information, both sides can be argued. Nevertheless, even after thoroughly considering the argument, I believe I would still adhere to my viewpoint that the assertion lacks merit for the aforementioned reasons. Besides, when I am 55 I do not fancy the idea of being put out to pasture. I think I will still be full of vitality and have a desire to work, so I hope my workplace will view me as a treasure house of valuable experience to pass along to the next generation and keep me on until I am at least 65 if not older.

(478 words)


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