The new Constitution of the USSR guarantees free choice of profession. Is that realistic?

Grigori Reznichenko ::: Young people in the USSR. Answers to questions

Definitely so. What it means is equal opportunities for one and all to use his abilities and find a job in keeping with them.

Young people in the USSR have no problem in finding a job in their particular field; rather their problem lies in choosing from among the 50,000 pro­fessions and trades known to the world today the one that can become his lifework.

Various sociological surveys tell us that a teen­ager's plans for his life vocation are shaped under the influence of many factors: his parents' views, the views of his teachers and his friends, the books he reads, and the mass media. But also highly im­portant is the work teenagers learn to do at school. In the junior classes they make things which do not require special skill but which are nevertheless use- ful-toys for the New Year fir trees, birdhouses and the like. At the age of 10 or 11 they begin to use the school workshops equipped with the simpler of factory lathes. Thus, gradually teenagers learn some of the basic things about modern industry and tech­nology.

This work is part of the curriculum and compul­sory for all. But it would be wrong to think that vocational guidance at school is limited to the main

industrial trades. There are many hobby circles and optional classes that allow pupils to try out their abilities. Life itself, of course, also introduces some correctives. For no matter how good the system of vocational guidance, at 17 one is not always able to make the right choice of a career.

Psychologists, sociologists and doctors are all helping to solve the problem by designing various tests and drawing up recommendations.

There are Job Placement Offices in every town and rural district. Each month they get information on the number and type of jobs available in their area. So when a youngster turns to this office he is offered a choice of places. In fact, the choice can be so wide that he will be hard put to make up his mind. He will consider such things as wages, and opportunities for advanced training or further edu­cation, and also how close the place of work is to his home and what facilities it offers for sports and recreation.

The district committees of the Komsomol also help school leavers by directing them to the district job-placement centre where full information is avail­able about the enterprises, scientific research insti­tutes, and industrial trade schools in the district and town. And if the youngster makes his choice he is sent to his future place of study or work with Kom­somol recommendations.