PTIM & FBCL Manchester – IELTS General Reading Passage

Read the text below and answers to the questions 15-27 on your answer sheet.

GT Reading: “Professional Training Institute for Migrants” & “FBCL, Manchester”

Read the text below and answer Question 15-20.

 Professional Training Institute for Migrants (PTIM)

– General Information –

PTIM is a partially government-run training institute for skilled migrants. We focus on three key development areas for migrant professionals in the UK:

A. Getting professionals used to UK corporate culture:
Corporate cultures vary from country to country and sometimes, professionals migrating to the UK can find it challenging to adjust to the new culture. The challenges migrants face are usually related to employee-employer relationships, employee rights and responsibilities and professional relationships with colleagues. PTIM will assist migrant professionals to understand the corporate culture in the UK prior to starting their professional life.     

B. Offering industry-specific further training to meet UK industry standards:
Sometimes prior qualifications and experience do not exactly match the requirements of UK employers. PTIM offers 32 short courses each targeted at specific industries – banking, insurance, accounting, law, management and marketing are some. To better enable migrants to prepare for the English standards required in UK industries, training is available in both written and spoken English.

C. Placing professionals in appropriate organisations:
PTIM is well-connected with over 1,200 commercial organisations in a variety of industries. Although it is not guaranteed that the training at PTIM will lead to a job, it will help make finding a job much easier. PTIM organises a bi-annual job fair at its premises where our trainees can meet with employers and company representatives. These have proven to be very effective with around 30% of our trainees finding employment after the fair.

How to enrol:
To enrol in any of our courses, book an appointment by calling 41 25 32 36 or visiting our website. Bring along to the initial interview your skilled migration visa along with all your previous educational and work-related documents. Provide us with as much detail as possible so we can determine what kind of training will be best for you. If you are offered a place in one of our courses, you will be notified within five business days and sent an enrolment form to complete.  

Fees and facilities:
All students enjoy a subsidised rate for training which varies from course to course. Our courses range in price from around £200 to £1200. Fees cover all training costs and use of our resource library, internet and audio-visual materials. A field trip to an organisation within your industry is also included.

If you are allocated a course and want to withdraw, you need to do so at least 2 weeks prior to the commencement date in order to avoid a fine. Depending upon the cost of the course, a late withdrawal fine ranging from 10% to up to half the total fee may be charged – contact the registrar if you have any questions.

Questions 15-20:

Do the following statements agree with the information given in the passage on PTIM?

In boxes 15-20 on your answer sheet, write

    TRUE     if the statement agrees with the information
    FALSE    if the statement contradicts the information
    NOT GIVEN         if there is no information on this

15. PTIM is owned by the government.
16. Corporate cultures in the UK and other countries are quite similar.
17. All courses are conducted in English.
18. PTIM has relationships with many different businesses.
19. Migrant professionals pay a reduced price for all PTIM courses.
20. Withdrawing from a course one week before it starts may cost 50% of the course fee.

Read the information below and answer questions 21 -27.

Food and Beverage Company Limited (FBCL), Manchester

Overseas Personal Recruitment Procedure

FBCL is a privately owned company that has operated in Manchester for 15 years. We specialise in the production of a range of food and drink items which we market under several brand names primarily in the Manchester area. FBCL follows a decentralised management practice and is an equal opportunity employer. A significant portion of our employee base consists of professional migrants. As the assessment procedures of overseas degrees and professional experience are different than our domestic staff, all applications from migrant professionals go through a different recruitment process.

Positions vacant are always advertised in regional newspapers which include a full description of the job responsibilities and qualifications required. Our recruitment ads can also be found on our website. We collect all the applications sent to us within the stipulated deadlines. We then sort the applications into two groups – applicants with UK-based education and qualifications and all other applicants. Two different recruitment teams within FBCL assess these groups of applications since the method used to evaluate and validate details for each group differ significantly.

UK-based applicants are evaluated and short-listed. We examine university degree details – degree(s) achieved, units studied and results awarded. Regarding professional records, we concentrate on previous positions and job responsibilities. In most cases, we do a reference check with previous UK employers. Non-UK applicants are sent to a specialised independent recruitment company located in Manchester. The recruitment company is highly experienced in application evaluation with agent offices in over 120 countries. This ensures excellence in this phase of the selection process. At times, government databases are used in evaluations to ensure fixing of standards. Contact with international employers is occasionally made.

Once the applications from both groups have been reviewed and possible candidates selected, they are combined on one list.  The next stage of the process involves applications being further reviewed and a short-list is created by the directors of the company. The candidates in this new short list have made the final round and are then called for a face-to-face interview with the personnel manager.

Applicants selected by the personnel manager to join the company need to undergo a basic physical check-up at a preferred medical centre in Manchester. All those selected are then sent for compulsory 2-week training at FBCL headquarters, which is located 25km west of the metropolitan city. A lump-sum payment is made for the session with living expenses also covered.

After successful completion of the training, candidates are placed in marketing, sales or office positions. A provisional period of 3 months applies to all positions after which appointments become permanent. During the provisional period, benefits reserved for permanent employees are not included in the salary package, only a basic salary is paid.

 Questions 21 – 27

Choose the correct letter, A, B, C or D.

Write your answers in boxes 21-27 on your answer sheet.

21. Recruitment procedures at FBCL are different for international professionals because       
   A) most employees are from overseas.
   B) their jobs may require some retraining.
   C) formal qualifications and work tasks are different.
   D) recruitment is more decentralised.

22.  Positions vacant
   A) include work responsibilities and pay scales.
   B) can be found in newspapers and online.
   C) list work experience requirements.
   D) are organised into two distinct groups.

23. UK-based applications
   A) are processed faster than non-UK applications.
   B) focus more on professional qualifications than work experience.
   C) are examined by several company departments.
   D) often lead to contact with past places of work.

24. The independent recruitment company           
    A) is based in East Manchester.
    B) keeps the selection process standards high.
    C) contacts international employers on behalf of FBCL.
    D) has a close relationship with government departments.

25.  The FBCL company directors
      A) reduce the number of applicants.
      B) are involved with short-list interviews.
      C) review short-listed candidates with the personnel manager.
      D) design questions for the final round interview.

26.  The physical check-up
      A) is stricter for non-UK applicants.
      B) is the final stage in the interview process.
      C) is not difficult.
      D) is required for staff.

27.  Applicants who successfully complete their training 
     A) become permanent staff.
     B) are entitled to a financial benefit.
     C) are paid a wage.
     D) undertake three months of additional training.

18. TRUE
19. TRUE
20. TRUE
21. C
22. B
23. D
24. B
25. A
26. D
27. C