Handouts and Key to book4 unit1-4
Active reading (1)
Looking for a job after university? First, get off the sofa
About the passage: This is an article by an Education Correspondent, Alexandra Blair, published in September 2008 in The Times, a long-established British quality newspaper. In Europe generally, and in Britain in particular, for a number of years there has been a rising number of students who go to university and therefore more new graduates seeking employment. However, for many graduates finding a job became harder in 2008–2009 because the economic downturn –then a recession – meant that many employers were reducing their workforce. After their final exams, some students rested in the summer before looking for jobs and then they found that it was difficult to find employment in their field or at the level they wanted. The article addresses the problems of such new graduates who might be stuck at home and advises their parents to be there for their children (ie to be available if their children want to talk about the problem or if they need help). The article recommends finding work in a bar or supermarket rather than sitting unemployed at home since this is more likely to lead to better employment later. The style is partly of a report, but also of a humorous comment for light entertainment (seen in the jokey language and problem-solving advice to parents).
Why finding a job in 2008 is so difficult for university graduates?
Universities in Europe, particularly in Britain, have expanded greatly in the last fifteen years (over 45% of young adults now go on to higher education), so there are more graduates looking for jobs. This competitive situation became a lot worse in 2008 onwards with the credit crunch and economic depression, which meant
that there were fewer jobs available and a rise in unemployment. Thus new graduates have to be active to seek a job, they need to fill in many application forms and try to get job interviews: they won‘t find employment by lying on the sofa at home.
honours degree: Traditionally, in the British university system, BA and BSc honours degrees are awarded in different categories: a first class degree (written using Roman numbers as I), a second (divided into two subcategorie s, written as IIii and IIii, which are called ―a two one‖ and ―a two two‖), a third (written III) and a pass degree. Most people get a second. There are also ordinary degrees with more general courses of study without these categories.
Generation Y and Grunt: The main idea here is that there is a succession of different generations or cohorts of adults who come into the workforce in North America which are given different informal names to characterize them. First, ―Baby boomers‖ were born in the great incr ease (the boom) of births after World War II (1946–1960), followed by ―Generation X‖ people (born
1960–1980) who were said to bring new attitudes of being independent, informal, entrepreneurial, and expected to get skills and have a career before them. ―GenerationY‖ or the ―Millenial Generation‖ (born 1980s and 1990s and becoming adult in the new millenium) are now making up an increasing percentage of the workforce; they are said to be spoilt by doting parents, to have structured lives, to be used to teamwork and diverse people in a multicultural society. In the passage, this generation is now becoming (morphing into) Generation Grunt, which is an ironic name referring to repetitive, low status, routine or mindless work – this may be the only work