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Working life in Britain

People in Britain are not different from people in other countries.

1. They work:

because they need money for food, housing and clothes;

because they want money to spend on leisure and luxuries;

because they are bored without any regular work to do;

because they enjoy the job they have.

Nowadays more and more Britons want to enjoy their work.

So they decide to work for themselves. They believe that their work will then be more satisfying. They run small businesses or become independent craftsmen. Some leave the city for the country where they hope to produce enough food to live on from a few acres of land.

The right to work

In the 1970s, there was a strong movement in Britain, especially among Trade Unions, supporting peoples right to work.

The 1974-79 Labour goverment tried to help to solve the problem of unemployment by financing a number of job creation programmes. Some were specially for young people leaving school. An employer in private industry, for instance, was paid to provide work for someone he could not normally afford to employ – so a job was ‘created’. The 1979 Conservative government had different views but rising unemployment in the early 1980s forced them to continue job creation policies.

Looking for a job

In 1973 the British government made new arrangements for helping people to find jobs. A nationwide organisation was set up. It is called the Manpower Services Commission. It runs two agencies: (1) the Employment Service Agency; and (2) the Training Service Agency.

Agency (1) tries to find for the unemployed person a suitable job; Agency (2) trains him in a new skill if he can’t find employment in his present kind of work.

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