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BEC-2 Test 1

Reading

Part One
Question 1-7

Look at the statements below and the information about training courses on the opposite paper.

Which course (A, B, C, or D) does each statement 1-7 refer to?

For each statement 1-7, mark one letter (A, B, C or D) on your Answer Sheet.

You will need to use some of these letters more than once.

1. This course is for people with little or no experience of the topic.


2. You will learn what a lender can do if a company does not repay a loan.
3. Companies can decide where their employees will take the course.
4. You will learn to assess whether a business can pay back the money it owes.
5. This course will help you to deal with the paperwork involved in processing loans.
6. You will look at the legal aspects of hiring equipment.
7. This course will concentrate on the laws that apply when a business borrows money.

A Loans Administration
This course looks at the administrative functions of a bank's loans department, e.g. dealing with credit applications
and keeping records of loan transactions. We will use real application forms of the type that administrative staff in
loans departments regularly handle. It will be particularly useful for experienced staff with day-to-day
administrative responsibility for loan portfolios. Although most clients choose to enjoy our beautiful premises, the
course can be run at the client company or elsewhere.

B Cashflow Analysis
On this advanced course you will build up a database of a company's cashflow over time and identify and interpret
patterns of change. You will analyze the cashflow of a few sample companies and use your analysis to judge their
ability to settle their debts. This course will help you perform an advanced cashflow analysis of your own
company.

C Loan Contracts
Open to anyone who completed our introductory course to legal contracts in business, this course looks at the legal
principles involved when a company takes out a loan; and outlines how to take legal action against a company that
defaults on its repayments. You will compare the interests and responsibilities of both parties to a loan contract.

D Leasing & Asset Finance


This is a course for those new to leasing. It will provide you with a basic understanding of why companies prefer
to lease property or machinery, rather than buy. You will learn about both the expenses and tax benefits of leasing
and you will study a variety of lease agreements and the laws relating to them.

Part Two
Questions 8-12

Read the article below about a psychologist's advice to managers.

Choose the best sentence from the opposite page to fill each of the gaps.

For each gap 8-12, mark one letter (A-G) on your Answer Sheet.

Do not use any letter more than once.

There is an example at the beginning. (0)

The Psychology of Management

If overflowing in-trays frighten you or solving problems makes you sweat, there's a new range of business books
called The Management Guides that you can turn to with confidence. (0)__G__. In addition, they're written in
accessible language by Kathy Harman, a chartered occupational psychologist who heads her own London-based
consultancy business. She says that the guides are intended for professionals working in small British companies,
where thinking about management can be a low priority because of endless lists of other responsibilities.

(8). After this initial message to the reader, the following pages contain sections on every aspect of business, from
managing your own time and selecting employees to planning ahead for the future.

One of the reasons Harman wrote these guides was that she knows not every business is able to invest in training.
The difficulty, especially for small businesses, is that, "People are professionals first and foremost and somehow
they are just expected to pick up management skills as they go along." (9). And becoming one, she recognizes, is
especially difficult if you're not used to communicating effectively or delegating work.

She adds, "It's all very well managing areas that you have control over and you can do all the planning you feel is
necessary, but there are always going to be other people out there who do the most unexpected things," (10). Such
a choice of approaches is essential to any business; this can only be achieved by managers having good, friendly
relationships with all their staff and business contacts. "The important thing in management," says Harman, "is the
human element."

Her advice to managers everywhere is to maintain professionalism at all times. "If you've ever managed anyone,"
she says, "you'll know that you're not allowed to be fed up because when the staff come to you, they don't want to
know about your problems, they want their problems solved."

Harman feels confident about making such an analysis because of her years of training as an occupational
psychologist. (11). "What you find there is that more senior managers have had some kind of psychological
training, while in this country most managers get their management psychology second-hand by listening to other
managers."

The overall message from Harman is a simple one, and it's got nothing to do with technology or databases. (12).
"More and more managers," she says, "are realizing this and beginning to appreciate that without the right staff at
all levels, you really haven't got a business. People are your principal resource."

A And when they do, managers need a variety of strategies to fall back on.
B This, of course, is unlikely to be easy, because being an expert in your field doesn't necessarily make you a
good manager.
C The question that most of them ask is ,"Can we actually afford a management training courses?"
D Although this area of study is becoming more acceptable in the business world, Britain is a long way behind
the rest of Europe.
E It's about creating a working environment that promotes the well-being of everyone, from the post room to
the board room.
F This is illustrated at the beginning of each guide with the quote, "This book is for those who would like to
manage better but are too busy to begin."
G They're short, pocket-sized, and very reasonably priced at '2.99 each.

Part Three
Questions 13-18

Read the article below about effective communication and the question on the opposite page.

For each question 13-18, mark one letter (A, B, C, or D) on your Answer Sheet for the answer you choose.

The importance of good communication

Effective communication is essential for all organizations. It links the activities of the various parts of the
organization and ensures that everyone is working toward a common goal. It is also extremely important for
motivating employees. Staff need to know how they are getting on, what they are doing right and in which areas
they could improve. Working alone can be extremely difficult and it is much easier if someone takes an interest
and provides support. Employees need to understand why their job is important and how it contributes to the
overall success of the firm. Personal communication should also include target setting. People usually respond well
to goals, provided these are agreed between the manager and subordinate and not imposed.

However, firms often have communications problems that can undermine their performance. In many cases, these
problems occur because messages are passed on in an inappropriate way. There are, of course, several ways of
conveying information to others in the organization. These include speaking to them directly, e-mailing,
telephoning or sending a memo. The most appropriate method depends on example, anything that is particularly
sensitive or confidential, such as an employee's appraisal, should be done face-to-face.

One of the main problems for senior executives is that they do not have the time or resources needed to
communicate effectively. In large companies, for example, it is impossible for senior managers to meet and discuss
progress with each employee individually. Obviously this task can be delegated but at the cost of creating a gap
between senior management and staff. As a result, managers are often forced to use other methods of
communication, like memos or notes, even if they know these are not necessarily the most suitable means of
passing on messages.

The use of technology, such as e-mail, mobile phones and network systems, is speeding up communication
immensely. However, this does not mean that more investment in technology automatically proves beneficial:
system can become outdated or employees may lack appropriate training. There are many communications tools
now available but a firm cannot afford all of them. Even if it could, it does not actually need them all. The
potential gains must be weighed up against the costs, and firms should realize that more communication does not
necessarily mean better communication.

As the number of people involved in an organization increase, the use of written communication rises even faster.
Instead of a quick conversation to sort something out numerous messages can be passed backwards and forward.
This can lend to a tremendous amount of paperwork and is often less effective than face to face communication.
When you are actually talking to someone you can discuss things until you are happy they have understood and
feedback is immediate. With written messages, however, you are never quite sure how it will be received. What
you think you have said and what the other person thinks you have said can be very different.

The amount of written information generated in large organization today can lead to communication overload. So
much information is gathered that it gets in the way of making decisions. Take a look at the average manager's
desk and you will see the problem -- it is often covered in letter, reports and memos. This overload can lead to
inefficiencies. For example, managers may not be able to find the information they want when they need it.
Communication is also becoming more difficult with the changes occurring in employment patterns. With more
people working part-time and working from home, managing communication is becoming increasingly complex.

13. In the first paragraph the writher recommends that communication with staff should include _____.
A. some feedback on their job performance
B. an explanation of how company targets have been set
C. information on promotion prospects within the company
D. an indication of which duties they can expect assistance with
正 确 答 案 是

14. According to the writer, the best way of achieving effective communication is to _____.
A. adapt the message to suit a particular audience
B. make the content of messages brief and direct
C. select the most suitable means of conveying a particular message
D. ensure that information is targeted at the appropriate group of people
正 确 答 案 是

15. What does the writer say about the communication options available to senior manager?
A. Sending memo to staff is one of the most efficient methods.
B. It is important to find the time to discuss certain matters with staff.
C. They should increase the range of options that they use.
D. Getting junior managers to talk to staff can create different problems.
正 确 答 案 是

16. What advice is given about the communication tools made available by technology?
A. Aim to limit staff use of certain communication tools.
B. Evaluate them in terms of the expenditure involved.
C. Select them on the basis of the facilities they offer.
D. Encourage more staff to attend training courses in their use.
正 确 答 案 是

17. According to the writer, a problem with written communication is that _____.
A. the message can be interpreted differently to what was intended
B. it can be easy for people to ignore the contents of a written message
C. most people are more comfortable with face-to-face communication
D. it is possible for correspondence to get lost within a large organization
正 确 答 案 是

18. According to the article, what is the effect of receiving large amounts of written information?
A. It is counter-productive.
B. It causes conflict in a company.
C. It leads to changes in work patterns.
D. It makes the main points more difficult to identify.
正 确 答 案 是

Part Four
Questions 19-33

Read the letter below from an agency providing temporary staff for companies.

Choose the best word to fill each gap from A, B, C or D on the opposite page.

For each question 19-33, mark one letter (A, B, C or D) on your Answer Sheet.

Office Angels Employment Agency


14-16 Lockhart Road
Wan Chai
Hong Kong
Tel: 5324365
Fax: 5324111

Dear Client,

Office Angels is advising businesses to plan as far ahead as possible to ensure guaranteed staff cover during
holiday periods. There is now a (19)_____ shortage of skilled secretarial and administrative staff and this is
(20)_____ to get worse over the next twelve months.
Businesses which require staff with experience of specialist computer applications are the most at (21)_____. You
are advised to (22)_____ our agency well before the staff are actually needed to be certain of filling gaps with
adequately (23)_____ personnel. If you don't, it's almost (24)_____ that you will be left without the skills needed
to (25)_____ your office running smoothly.

The (26)_____ for the shortage of secretarial staff appears to be a combination of two (27)_____. There has been
an (28)_____ in the demand for secretarial services over the last few years, and at the same time there has been a
(29)_____ of students deciding to choose secretarial studies.

Office Angels Agency would (30)_____ to emphasize that businesses should not underestimate the difficulty of
(31)_____ experienced temporary staff. It is also necessary to make the (32)_____ that businesses should be
prepared for the fact that they may have to pay more for this kind of (33)_____ in the future.

19.
A. hard
B. serious
C. sure
D. strong
正 确 答 案 是

20.
A. hoped
B. wanted
C. expected
D. prepared
正 确 答 案 是

21.
A. risk
B. chance
C. worry
D. difficulty
正 确 答 案 是

22.
A. confirm
B. communicate
C. contact
D. command
正 确 答 案 是

23.
A. lectured
B. aided
C. formed
D. trained
正 确 答 案 是

24.
A. positive
B. correct
C. right
D. certain
正 确 答 案 是

25.
A. save
B. keep
C. ensure
D. continue
正 确 答 案 是

26.
A. reason
B. purpose
C. result
D. problem
正 确 答 案 是

27.
A. articles
B. matters
C. factors
D. subjects
正 确 答 案 是

28.
A. enlargement
B. increase
C. addition
D. upgrade
正 确 答 案 是

29.
A. lack
B. need
C. requirement
D. few
正 确 答 案 是

30.
A. request
B. desire
C. ask
D. like
正 确 答 案 是

31.
A. achieving
B. obtaining
C. realizing
D. earning
正 确 答 案 是

32.
A. point
B. idea
C. position
D. subject
正 确 答 案 是

33.
A. offer
B. delivery
C. product
D. service
正 确 答 案 是

Part Five
Questions 34-45

Read the article below about airport hotels.

In most of the lines 34-45 there is one extra word. It is either grammatically incorrect or does not fit in with the
meaning of the text. Some lines, however, are correct.

If a line is correct, write CORRECT on your Answer Sheet.

If there is an extra word in the line, write the extra word in CAPITAL LETTERS on your Answer Sheet.

The exercises begins with two examples, (0) and (00).


Examples 0 CORRECT
00 OF

CHECKING IN TO A WORKING BASE


0 Smart business travelers today are staying at the airport to do business. Rather than
00 waste of time in traffic jams as they try to reach city center venues, business people
34. are using conference facilities on the offer at airports. Busy executives are also
35. staying there overnight to avoid the difficulty of getting there for take an early morning
36. meeting. And it makes sense for international meetings to be held air airports. It is
37. principally through the improvement in airport hotels that has enabled this
38. development to take place. Today these mini-conference centers provide services are
39. designed for business travelers, like a quick check-in and round-the-clock restaurants,
40. so they can get to work as quickly as possible. They are also less expensive place
41. than their city center counterparts. Not long years ago, airport hotels were
42. uncomfortable, unattractive and inconvenient for as far as the business traveler was
43. concerned. Yet now that there is strong interest, as travelers become aware of the
44. new facilities. Demand for small meeting rooms is huge, usually for interviews or one-to-one
45. meetings, where executives fly them in and out the same day. The age of the airport is upon us.

Writing

Part One
Question 46

You are a manager in a small publishing company. You have recently taken charge of your company's staff training
programme. Before the programme starts you would like to identify training areas that staff are interested in.

Write a memo to all staff:


saying when the programme will start
asking for suggestions for the programme
giving a deadline for suggestions.

Write 140-150 words.

Write on the separate answer paper provided.

Memorandum

To
From
Date
Subject
Part Two
Question 47:

You work for a sports center. You have been asked to write a short report that will appear in a newsletter for the
sports center's members.

Look at the graphs below, on which you have already made some handwritten notes.

Then, using all these handwritten notes, write your report.

Write 120-140 words.

Write on the separate answer paper provided.

Listening

Part One
Question 48-59

You will hear three telephone conversations or messages.

Write one or two words or a number in the numbered spaces on the notes or forms below.
You will hear each recording twice.

Conversation One (Questions 48-51)

Look at the form below.

You will hear a message about a job application on a telephone answering machine.

Business Placements
Job Application Form

NAME:
Mr. Lan (48)_____

ADDRESS:
on record

POST:
(49)_____

REFERENCE NO.:
(50)_____

REQUEST
send (51)_____ as well

Conversation Two(Questions 52-55)

Look at the notes below.

You will hear a man calling about changes to a project.

WORLD BUSINESS PROMOTIONS


Notes

Rodney Childs called about the (52)_____ we're producing.


They're going to change the (53)_____.
They're giving us longer to complete the project (54)_____ more.
We need to prepare a new (55)_____ for tomorrow.

Conversation Three(Questions 56-59)


Look at the notes below.

You will hear a man telephoning an order for office supplies.

Message

Message for: Janet Smith


From: Purchasing
Re: Order of January 25th

Problems:

Can't get any (56)__________________________________________________ photocopy paper until


(57)_____________________________________________. Will you wait or take another color?

New envelopes are slightly (58)_____________________________________________ than old stock. OK?

Filling cabinet: how many (59)_____________________________________________ do you want?

Part Two
Questions 60-68

Section One (Questions 60-63)

You will hear five short recordings.

For each recording, decide what the speaker's job is.

Write on letter (A-H) next to the number of the recording.

Do not use any letter more than once.

You will hear the five recordings twice.

60 A Invoice Clerk B Distribution Manager


61 C Salesperson D Finance Manager
62 E Production Supervisor F Quality Control Manager
63 G Service Engineer H Credit Control Manager

Section Two (Questions 64-68)

You will hear five short recordings.


For each recording, decide which problem at work the speaker is talking about.

Write on letter (A-H) next to the number of the recording.

Do not use any letter more than once.

You will hear the five recordings twice.

64 A over-staffing B an unfair dismissal


65 C inadequate training D too many changes
66 E poor time-keeping F low job satisfaction
67 G a lack of leadership H inadequate safety procedures
68

Part Three
Questions 69-76

You will hear an interview with Tom Winter, president of Thorntec University, the training and educational body
set up by the electronics company, Thorntec.

For each question 69-76, mark one letter (A, B, C or D) for the correct answer.

You will hear the recording twice.

69. Thorntec's total sales in 1995 was _____.


A. 5 billion dollars
B. 11 billion dollars
C. 23 billion dollars
正 确 答 案 是

70. Over the next five years Thorntec intends to expand in _____.
A. Southern Africa
B. Europe
C. Asia
正 确 答 案 是

71. Thorntec's sales in China reached '2 billion _____.


A. last year
B. a few years ago
C. seven years ago
正 确 答 案 是

72. Who is Thorntec University intended for?


A. new members of staff only
B. all company employees
C. managers and directors only
正 确 答 案 是

73. All Thorntec University trainees take courses in _____.


A. faster production methods
B. personal finance
C. languages
正 确 答 案 是

74. What is the minimum amount of training an employee receives?


A. three days every month
B. three days every six months
C. three days every year
正 确 答 案 是

75. Tom Winter says that investment in staff by Thorntec _____.


A. has reached the right level
B. should be increased
C. should equal the amount put into machinery
正 确 答 案 是

76. Thorntec started experimenting with education and training _____.


A. when the University started operating
B. when the company was founded
C. in the late 1960s
正 确 答 案 是

You now have 10 minutes to transfer your answers to your Answer Sheet.

Speaking

Task Sheet 1

A: WHAT IS IMPORTANT WHEN…?

Selecting applicants for a job

Work Experience

Personal Qualities
 

B: WHAT IS IMPORTANT WHEN…?

Choosing a new supplier

Price and Discounts

Reputation

C: WHAT IS IMPORTANT WHEN…?

Aiming to improve production quality

Up-to-date equipment

Staff Training

Task Sheet 2

A: WHAT IS IMPORTANT WHEN…?

Preparing for a job interview

Studying the job advertisement

Finding out about the company

B: WHAT IS IMPORTANT WHEN…?


Deciding whether to attend a conference

Venue

Speakers

C: WHAT IS IMPORTANT WHEN…?

Developing new products

Market Research

Costs Involved

Task Sheet 1

Foreign Business Trip

Your company is attending a trade fair in a foreign country for the first time.
You have been asked to help with the preparations for the trip.
Discuss the situation together, and decide:

what travel and accommodation arrangements you will need to make before the trip

which kinds of business customs in the foreign country it would be useful to know about, and how to find out
about these before the trip

参考答案!

1-10.DCABA DCFBA11-20.DEACD BAABC 21-30.ACDDBACBBA 31-34DCAD


35 空白.36.the 36 .for 37 correct 38. THROUGH
39. ARE
40. CORRECT
41. PLACE
42. YEARS
43. FOR
44. THAT
45. CORRECT
60. THEM
61.WETHERLEY
62. TRAINING MANAGER
63. TJ34
64. (THE/AN) INFORMATION PACK
65. (TV) COMMERCIAL
66. (PRODUCT) PACKAGING
67. 6 WEEKS
68. QUOTATION
69. GREEN
70. FRIDAY
71. NARROWER
72. DRAWERS
73. C
74. G
75. F
76. D
Part One
Questions 48-59

You will hear three telephone conversations or messages.

Write one or two words or a number in the numbered spaces on the notes or forms below.

You will hear each recording twice.

Conversation One (Questions 48-51)

Look at the form below.

You will hear a message about a job application on a telephone answering machine.

F: Thank you for calling Business Placements. Please state your name and address. Then give the
title and reference number of the job you'd like to apply for. Please speak clearly after the tone.

M: Hello. This is Mr. Lan Wetherley--that is W-E-T-H-E-R-L-E-Y. I'm ringing from Manchester --
you've got my address on record…I phoned about the job of Training Manager 3 days ago but you
sent me the wrong forms. Please send me the correct application form for this job -- job reference
number TJ34…You sent me the details for job TJ36 instead. Oh, and could you also make sure
that you include the information pack? That would be very helpful. Thank you.
Conversation Two (Questions 52-55)

Look at the notes below.

You will hear a man calling about changes to a project.

M: Hello, this is Rodney Childs from Denver Crisps. Could I speak to Vanessa Small, please?
F: Speaking. Hello, Rodney, how are you?
M: Fine thank. Look, Vanessa, it's about the TV commercial you're producing for us.
F: Oh dear. What's wrong?
M: Well, we're making some changes to the product packaging, to give the company a whole new
image. It's the new Promotions Manager's idea.
F: That shouldn't be too much of a problem, but it'll cost you more of course, because we'll have to
re-shoot, and I can't guarantee the commercial will be ready on the date we agreed.
M: That's alright. We're extending the deadline by six weeks. That's when the new packaging will
be in the shops.
F: Right. So when can we arrange to film again?
M: Well, possibly early next week, if you can send me a new quotation by tomorrow.
F: No problem. I'll fax it to you by midday.

Conversation Three (Questions 56-59)

Look at the notes below.

You will hear a man telephoning an order for office supplies.

F: Hello, Personnel Department.

M: Hello, this is John in Purchasing. It's about Janet Smith's order of January 25th. Can I have a
word with her?

F: Sorry, John, she won't be in till tomorrow, but you can leave her a message.

M: Thanks. I'm afraid we've got one or two problems with some of the items she ordered. She
asked for twenty packets of green photocopy paper but unfortunately our suppliers have said that
although they can send almost any other color right away, they can only get that one to us on
Friday. Can you ask her if she'll take another color -- the blue's nice -- or will she wait?

F: OK. Is that all then?

M: No, there's a couple of other questions, I'm afraid. The new envelopes they've sent us are not as
wide as the old stock; there's not much difference but they're a little narrower. Could you ask her if
that's all right?
F: OK. Was there anything else?

M: Oh yes, she asked for another filing cabinet. Can she confirm which size -- it could be either
two or four drawers -- which does she want? If she could let me know as soon as …

Part Two
Questions 60-68

Section One (Questions 60-63)

You will hear five short recordings.

For each recording, decide what the speaker's job is.

Write on letter (A-H) next to the number of the recording.

Do not use any letter more than once.

You will hear the five recordings twice.

F: Last week was probably my busiest ever. I traveled 20,000 kilometers and visited 25 customers.
I got 12 firm orders and the nice things is I'll get 12.5% commission on each, once the invoices
have been paid.

M: Although I check the machines on the production line regularly, last week one of them broke
down and that caused some long delays, especially for the distribution department, I'm told. I had
to get new parts and work right through the night to get the machine running again.

M: Recently we've been working very hard with the standard that has just been introduced, and it's
made a big difference, because last week we achieved the lowest ever rate of defective products
coming off the line.

F: For the first time in two years, all the departments kept within their budgets last quarter. I had to
check the figures four times before I could believe it! That'll look very good in the annual report.

Section Two (Questions 64-68)

You will hear five short recordings.

For each recording, decide which problem at work the speaker is talking about.

Write on letter (A-H) next to the number of the recording.


Do not use any letter more than once.

You will hear the five recordings twice.

M: It really shouldn't have happened. I mean, there are procedures for getting rid of people and I
don't understand why they weren't observed. Just because he didn't "keep to office policy". There
are plenty of people here who don't "keep to office policy" in all sorts of areas!

F: I was really excited when I got this job. I thought -- now I'm going to be part of an organization
that has an international reputation! …Well -- I don't know what it is…the management's fine,
salaries are good, but no-one really seems interested in the work they're doing, it's just a routine,
and I already find it quite boring.

F: I started off as a trainee in that office over there. I was providing administrative support for
three editors. Soon after I arrived, they brought in a new computer system, and just as I started to
master it, two of the editors left. Then they restructured the team and moved me into the central
office, where they have a different system! I wonder what's going to happen next!

M: She's been off for three months now. It's such a shame! And she isn't going to do anything
about it. If it's been me, I'd have gone to court about it! There's no way there should have been
loose wires all over the floor like that. Something was just waiting to happen. I kept thinking that
somebody should report is, so that they could move them out of the way--now I wish I had!

F: When I started here -- which wasn't that long ago -- they were taking people on every day, and
training them at great expense. So now we have lots of qualified staff, but not enough work for
them. Unless we win some new orders in the next few months, some people will have to be made
redundant.

Part Three
Questions 69-76

You will hear an interview with Tom Winter, president of Thorntec University, the training and
educational body set up by the electronics company, Thorntec.

For each question 69-76, mark one letter (A, B, C or D) for the correct answer.

You will hear the recording twice.

F: Mr. Winter, I know we've asked you here to talk about Thorntec University, but before we
begin, let's talk about the company. Thorntec Electronics seems to be enjoying a boom at the
moment. Can you put some figures on that?

M: Yes…Well…in 1990, Thorntec's total sales were '11 billion. But in 1995, our sales grew by
more than 5 billion and the sales total for the year was 'we billion. So…while we used to think that
15% growth was good, for some time we were reckoning on achieving 20 to 25%…though recent
developments have changed that.

F: And what about international expansion? Where are your big growth markets?

M: Over the next five years, we'll be hiring 100,000 new employees…in Asia alone, it'll be
60,000.The real development during this period will still be concentrated in Asia -- mostly China,
India and Vietnam. We're hoping that one day the market there will be as big as Europe. Over a
longer period, we're also planning to expand into the Middle East and into Southern Africa. All
this development is very important for the company. For example, the plans for China will bring
investment up to '100 billion. A few years ago, I'd never have dreamed that we'd be selling '2
billion dollars' worth of products there, which we did last year. It's hard to believe that only seven
years ago we sold nothing there at all.

F: Can we talk about Thorntec University itself? Can you explain -- simply -- how it works, and
who it's for?
M: I suppose it's really similar to a community-based education system -- a bit like a village
school -- except, of course, this is a global village. Basically, it's designed to provide education
and training for every single member of staff, from the Managing Director to the newest recruit.

F: And what kind of education and training is actually on offer?

M: Well, we have core courses that everyone is required to attend. They focus on things like
reducing manufacturing time as well as quality issues -- both for people and services. We also
offer a range of options, everything from personal finance to languages. We run courses, for
example, in French, Japanese, Korean and Mandarin.

F: Can we turn now to the question of motivation and how you go about keeping people interested
in their work?

M: We never underestimate training. It's a challenge, for example, keeping someone aged 20
skilled until they're aged 60. So we do what we can. While some employees get as much as three
days training a month, the minimum is fixed at three days a year. We also have a feed back system
in the form of a questionnaire that employees answer every six months, and in this way we can
keep up-to-date with employees' opinions.

F: So you really do believe in investing in your employees?

M: That's right. We allow an amount equivalent to about 4% of an employee's salary for his or her
training -- to "maintain them", if you like, because we think they're important. A piece of
machinery, however, gets as much as 10-12% of its purchase price spent on maintenance…now, I
believe that people are more important than machines, so we still have a long way to go.

F: It would seem, though, that Thorntec is more broad-minded than many firms in its approach to
educating and training its employees.

M: Well, Thorntec has been in a state of constant renewal since it was founded in 1928, but it
wasn't until the late sixties onwards that the company started trying out new methods of training
and education. Thorntec University was the result of those experiments and has been operating
very successfully for the last fifteen years. I suppose overall what distinguishes Thorntec from
other multinationals is that we educate all our employees and not just management.

F: Thank you, Mr. Winter, and I hope that Thorntec University continues to do well in its
educational role.