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Novel way to cut unemployment: pay people to leave

Level 1 l Elementary
1 Warmer
Are there many unemployed people where you live?
What jobs are there for young people where you live?

2 Key words
Read the definitions and match them to the key words. Find them in the article to read them in context.
The paragraph numbers will help you.
common sense

mayor

abroad

residents

solution

unemployment

1. a way to end a problem ___________________________ (para 1)


2. when some people do not have work and do not earn money ___________________________ (para 1)
3. the most important elected person in a town or city ___________________________ (para 2)
4. people who live in a particular place ___________________________ (para 2)
5. the ability to make sensible decisions ___________________________ (para 3)
6. in or to a foreign country ___________________________ (para 3)

applicants

sensitive

graduates

struggling

temporary

worthwhile

7. having difficulties with something ___________________________ (para 5)


8. people who officially ask for something, such as a job or money ___________________________ (para 6)
9. something that will make people easily angry or unhappy ___________________________ (para 7)
10. people who have a degree from a university ___________________________ (para 7)
11. good enough to spend money and time on ___________________________ (para 8)

NEWS LESSONS / Novel way to cut unemployment: pay people to leave / Elementary

Macmillan Publishers Ltd 2014

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12. existing only for a short time ___________________________ (para 10)

Novel way to cut unemployment: pay people to leave

Level 1 l Elementary
Sardinian town finds novel way to cut
unemployment: pay people to leave
Lizzy Davies in Cagliari
23 September, 2014
1 Governments in Europe dream of finding a magic
solution to rising unemployment. But, in the
poorest parts of the EU, unemployment continues
to rise.
2 Now, in Sardinia, Italy, a mayor thinks he has
found an answer to his towns unemployment
problem. Valter Piscedda, the mayor of Elmas,
a small town near Sardinias capital, Cagliari,
wants to pay residents to leave. The town will pay
for ten unemployed local people to take English
lessons, get on a cheap flight and look for jobs in
other parts of Europe.
3 This idea comes from common sense and
experience, he told the Guardian. In the past
year and a half especially in the past few
months I have seen young people, almost
every day, who have lost hope that they will find
work. Some ask for help in finding work here.
Others have tried everything and, now, they
want to go and gain work experience abroad; life
experience, too.

he wants the scheme to help the people most


in need.
8 In Elmas, the scheme has got mixed reactions.
There is little work here, said Alessandro Macis.
The opportunity to go abroad to learn about the
workplace and experience other cultures can be
very worthwhile. The son of a friend of mine who
didnt study much is in London and hes doing
very well. He started as a waiter. Now, hes a
cook and hes learning English.
9 Others were not sure. I heard about it but I
thought it was strange. If you have that money to
pay for people to go away, why dont you use that
money to keep them here? said Consuelo Melis,
who works in a local caf.
10 But Piscedda says, The work I can create, as
mayor, is temporary. I can ask someone to clean
a piazza. I can ask them to clean it again. I can
ask someone to clean the streets. But these are
all temporary things that give nothing more than a
little bit of money for a few months.
Guardian News and Media 2014
First published in The Guardian, 23/09/14

4 So he decided to help people who want to gain


experience abroad.
5 Sardinia, and also much of southern and central
Italy, is struggling with high unemployment.
Unemployment was at 17.7% in the second
quarter of 2014, according to Italys National
Institute of Statistics. More than 54% of people
under 25 are out of work.
6 For the Adesso Parto (Now Im leaving)
programme, Elmas will give 12,000 to the first
ten applicants aged between 18 and 50. The
applicants must be out of work and have lived in
the town for three years. They do not have to be
university educated and they must not earn more
than 15,000.

NEWS LESSONS / Novel way to cut unemployment: pay people to leave / Elementary

Macmillan Publishers Ltd 2014

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7 The idea of helping people to leave is sensitive at


a time when many Italians many of them clever
young graduates are leaving their country every
year. But Piscedda believes that the people he
is sending away might return and give me back
100 times what we gave them. More importantly,

Novel way to cut unemployment: pay people to leave

Level 1 l Elementary
3 Expressions
Complete the expressions from the article using the words below. Then, match them to their meanings.
work

in

high

out

reactions

1. ______________ unemployment

a. both positive and negative responses

2. ______________ experience

b. when lots of people do not have work

3. ______________ of work

c. not having enough food, money, clothing or other


things that are necessary for life

4. ______________ need

d. unemployed

5. mixed ______________

e. the knowledge and skills that you gain from working

4 Comprehension check
Are these sentences true (T) or false (F)? Correct any that are false.
1. Valter Piscedda is the mayor of Sardinias capital, Cagliari.
2. There are many unemployed people in his town.
3. He has set up a scheme to help unemployed people find work in Sardinia.
4. There are 100 places on the scheme.
5. Applicants have to be under 25 to get on the scheme.
6. They need to have a university degree.
7. They will get money and English lessons so that they can find a job abroad.
8. The mayor hopes they will get work and life experience.
9. He thinks that many people on the scheme will come back to Sardinia and give back more than they got.
10. Everybody in his town thinks the scheme is a good idea.

NEWS LESSONS / Novel way to cut unemployment: pay people to leave / Elementary

Macmillan Publishers Ltd 2014

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11. The only jobs the mayor can offer in his town are temporary ones.

Novel way to cut unemployment: pay people to leave

Level 1 l Elementary
5 Easily confused words
a. Carefully read the word pairs aloud. Do they sound exactly the same or is there a difference? And what
do they mean?

Look the words up in a dictionary to check the meaning and pronunciation.

1. mayor major
2. live life
3. fly flight
4. leave leaf
5. residents residence
b. Now, use the words from Task a. to complete the sentences.
1. Theres a _________________ on your shoe.
What time does the train _________________?
2. The _________________ has an office in the town hall.
The _________________ has been in the army for 20 years.
3. We have booked a _________________ to New York.
You cant go by train; you have to _________________.
4. The White House is the official _________________ of the US president.
How many _________________ are there in your building?
5. I _________________ in a village, not a big city.
He had a long and happy _________________.

6 Discussion
What do you think about the mayors scheme? Is it
1. a good idea?
2. a waste of money?
3. crazy?

7 Webquest

NEWS LESSONS / Novel way to cut unemployment: pay people to leave / Elementary

Macmillan Publishers Ltd 2014

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Find out more about Sardinia its population, its size, where it is on the map, etc.

Novel way to cut unemployment: pay people to leave

Level 1 l Elementary
KEY
2 Key words

5 Easily confused words

1. solution
2. unemployment
3. mayor
4. residents
5. common sense
6. abroad
7. struggling
8. applicants
9. sensitive
10. graduates
11. worthwhile
12. temporary

a.
1. mayor /me/: the most important elected official in
a town or city
major /med/: important, serious, large or great
2. live /lv/: to have your home in a particular place
life /laf/: the events and experiences that happen
to people in general
3. fly /fla/: to travel by plane
flight /flat/: a journey on a plane
4. leave /liv/: to go away from a place
leaf /lif/: a flat thin green part of a tree or plant that
grows on a branch or stem
5. residents /rezdns/: people who live in a
particular place
residence /rezdns/: a house or other place
where someone lives

3 Expressions
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.

high b
work e
out d
in c
reactions a

b.
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.

leaf; leave
mayor; major
flight; fly
residence; residents
live; life

4 Comprehension check

NEWS LESSONS / Novel way to cut unemployment: pay people to leave / Elementary

Macmillan Publishers Ltd 2014

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1. F Valter Piscedda is the mayor of Elmas, a town


near Sardinias capital, Cagliari.
2. T
3. F He has set up a scheme to help unemployed
people find work in other parts of the EU.
4. F There are 10 places on the scheme.
5. F Applicants have to be between18 and 50 to get
on the scheme.
6. F They do not need to have a university degree.
7. T
8. T
9. T
10. F Not everybody in his town thinks the scheme is
a good idea.
11. T