Young Men in the UK are Pessimistic about Their Future

March 2, 2013

Unlocking Word Meanings
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

1. pessimistic (adj.) – having negative thoughts about something; having a belief that an event will turn bad
Example: Marcus felt really pessimistic about his future, thinking that he may not get his dream job.

2. skilled (adj.) – with the ability to do a specific task
Example: Companies nowadays look for skilled workers who require less training.

3. discontent (adj.) – unhappy or not satisfied
Example: Young people become discontent when they do not know what to do in their life.

4. barrier (n.) – anything that holds a person back from his or her goals
Example: His financial problem is a barrier that keeps him from finishing his studies.

5. job seeker (n.) – a person who looks for a possible job
Example: Most job seekers today submit their application online.

Read the text below.

A study in the UK revealed that young men who are not very poor but not rich enough to go to university have become pessimistic about their future. The information came from a youth survey by the O2 telecommunications company.

The study involved 1,500 young people who are 16 to 24 years old and who belong to families of skilled and semi-skilled workers.

According to the study’s results, 60% of the young men who answered the survey believed that they would never have their own homes. About 25% of the young men believed they would never have a satisfying career while more than 30% felt discontent when thinking about the future.

Compared to poorer young men, men from between the poor and lower middle classes were surprisingly more pessimistic. Professor Tony Chapman, who analyzed the survey, said these young men have dreams, but they tend not to even try achieving their goals because they think there are too many barriers.

Young men lacking the needed qualities might also have more difficulties in finding a job, especially since they would compete with a high number of job seekers who attended university. Fewer job opportunities for skilled and semi-skilled workers could also add up to the young men’s job seeking difficulties.

Despite the negative views, the study showed that most of the young men still believe they could gain more money than their parents. Most of those who remain hopeful see new job opportunities in technology especially the Internet.

Viewpoint Discussion
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor. 

Discussion A

·         Why do you think some people can become pessimistic even though they are not poor?
·         How can we encourage young people to think positively about their future?

Discussion B

·         Why should people avoid thinking negatively about the future?
·         How do you encourage yourself to achieve your goals?


March 2, 2013