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商务英语BEC高级阅读题精讲(9)

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  Problems in the IT industry

  In the information technology industry, it is widely acknowledged that how well IT departments of the future can fulfil their business goals will depend not on the regular updating of technology, which is essential for them to do, but on how well they can hold on to the people skilled at manipulating the newest technology. This is becoming more difficult. Best estimates of the current shortfall in IT staff in the UK are between 30,000 and 50,000, and growing.

  And there is no end to the problem in sight. A severe industry-wide lack of investment in training means the long-term skills base is both ageing and shrinking. Employers are chasing experienced staff in ever-decreasing circles, and, according to a recent government report, 250,000 new IT jobs will be created over the next decade.

  Most employers are confining themselves to dealing with the immediate problems. There is little evidence, for example, that they are stepping up their intake of raw recruits for in-house training, or retraining existing staff from other functions. This is the course of action recommended by the Computer Software Services Association, but research shows its members are adopting the short-term measure of bringing in more and more consultants on a contract basis. However, this approach is becoming less and less acceptable as the general shortage of skills, coupled with high demand, sends contractor rates soaring. An experienced contract programmer, for example, can now earn at least double the current permanent salary.

  With IT professionals increasingly attracted to the financial rewards and flexibility of consultancy work, average staff turnover rates are estimated to be around 15%. While many companies in the financial services sector are managing to contain their losses by offering skilled IT staff ’golden handcuffs’ - deferred loyalty bonuses that tie them in until a certain date - other organisations, like local governments, are unable to match the competitive salaries and perks on offer in the private sector and contractor market, and are suffering turnover rates of up to 60% a year.

  But while loyalty bonuses have grabbed the headlines, there are other means of holding on to staff. Some companies are doing additional IT pay reviews in the year and paying market premiums. But such measures can create serious employee relations problems among those excluded, both within and outside IT departments. Many industry experts advise employers to link bonuses to performance wherever possible. However, employers are realising that bonuses will only succeed if they are accompanied by other incentives such as attractive career prospects, training, and challenging work that meets the individual’s long-term ambitions.

  This means managers need to allocate assignments more strategically and think about advancing their staff as well as their business. Some employers advocate giving key employees projects that would normally be handled by people with slightly more experience or capability. For many employers, however, the urgency of the problem demands a more immediate solution, such as recruiting skilled workers from overseas. But even this is not easy, with strict quotas on the number of work permits issued. In addition, opposition to the recruitment of IT people from other countries is growing, as many professionals believe it will lead to even less investment in training and thus a long-term weakening of the UK skills base.

  13 According to the first paragraph, the success of iT departments will depend on

  A their success at retaining their skilled staff.

  B the extent to which they invest in new technology.

  C their attempts to recruit staff with the necessary skills.

  D the ability of employees to keep up with the latest developments.

  14 A problem referred to in the second paragraph is that

  A the government needs to create thousands of new IT posts.

  B the pool of skilled IT people will get even smaller in the future.

  C company budgets for IT training have been decreasing steadily.

  D older IT professionals have not had adequate training.

  15 What possible solution to the long-term problems in the IT industry is referred to in the third paragraph?

  A ensure that permanent staff earn the same as contract staff

  B expand company training programmes for new and old employees

  C conduct more research into the reasons for staff leaving

  D offer top rates to attract the best specialist consultants

  16 In some businesses in the financial services sector, the IT staffing problem has led to

  A cash promises for skilled staff after a specified period of time.

  B more employees seeking alternative employment in the public sector.

  C the loss of customers to rival organisations.

  D more flexible conditions of work for their staff.

  17 Employers accept that IT professionals are more likely to stay in their present post if they

  A are set more realistic performance targets.

  B have a good working relationship with staff in other departments.

  C are provided with good opportunities for professional development.

  D receive a remuneration package at top market rates.

  18 According to the final paragraph, the UK skills base will be weakened by

  A changes to managers’ strategic thinking.

  B insufficient responsibility being given to IT staff.

  C the employment of IT staff with too little experience.

  D the hiring of IT personnel from abroad.

  题目解析

  《Problems in the IT industry》,IT行业的问题。IT行业的人才紧缺并且青黄不接,很多公司只顾短期利益,不愿意投入时间和成本进行培训。并且由于待遇等问题,人员流失现象十分严重。

  第十三题,问根据第一段,IT部门的成功取决于什么。答案是but后面的一句:but on how well they can hold on to the people skilled at manipulating the newest technology.取决于他们能否留住精通于掌握最新技术的人。也就是A所说的,成功留住有技术的员工。

  第十四题,问第二段提到的一个问题是什么。第二段这么说:A severe industry-wide lack of investment in training means the long-term skills base is both ageing and shrinking。一个严重的全行业范围的培训投入缺口意味着长期技术基础不仅老化而且紧缩。简单的说,就是人才短缺并且青黄不接。选B:有技术的IT人才未来会更少。Pool在这里是供应、聚集的意思。a pool of skilled labour:supply, common supply, reserve。

  第十五题,问对于第三段提到的IT行业的长期问题的可能的解决方法是什么。答案在这里:This is the course of action recommended。所以弄明白这里的this is是指代什么,就找到了正确的答案,this is指代的内容在前面:they are stepping up their intake of raw recruits for in-house training, or retraining existing staff from other functions.。他们开始对吸收的生手进行室内培训,或者是从其他功能上对现有的员工重新培训。简单概括,就是培训,无论是新来的还是老员工。答案选B:为新旧员工扩展公司的培训计划。

  第十六题,问金融服务行业的一些企业,IT员工问题导致了什么。答案是第四段的这么一句:While many companies in the financial services sector are managing to contain their losses by offering skilled IT staff ’golden handcuffs’ - deferred loyalty bonuses that tie them in until a certain date这些公司怎么留住人才避免损失呢?提供“黄金手铐”——延期的忠诚分红将他们套到某一天。也就是说给这些员工的分红是延迟发放的。即A选项所说的:对有技术员工一段时期后的现金许诺。Deferred就是after a specified period of time。

  第十七题,IT职业者更愿意待在现有的位置上,如果。。答案是第五段的最后一句:employers are realising that bonuses will only succeed if they are accompanied by other incentives such as attractive career prospects, training, and challenging work that meets the individual’s long-term ambitions.这些分红只有同其他的动力相结合才能成功:有吸引力的职业前景,培训以及和个人长期目标相吻合的有挑战性的工作。也就是C段总结的:为职业发展提供良好的机会。

  第十八题,问最后一段说,英国技术基础将被什么削弱。答案是最后一段的最后一句:opposition to the recruitment of IT people from other countries is growing, as many professionals believe it will lead to even less investment in training and thus a long-term weakening of the UK skills base.。从其他国家招IT人员的反对意见在上升,很多专家相信这会导致培训的减少并因此削弱长期的英国技术基础。即D段说的:从海外招聘IT人员。


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