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Series 4 Examination 2011

ENGLISH FOR BUSINESS


Level 3
Wednesday 9 November
Subject Code: 3041

Time allowed: 3 hours

INSTRUCTIONS FOR CANDIDATES

Answer all 4 questions.

All questions carry equal marks.

All answers should be correctly numbered, but do not need to be in numerical order.

Adequate and appropriate communication is more important than a particular number of words.

Check your work carefully.

You may use an English or bilingual dictionary.

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ASE 3041 4 11 1

QUESTION 1
Situation
You are employed as an administrator of a charitable organisation, Childrens Research (CR), that
supports medical research on childrens diseases, in the small town of Midville. You have just witnessed
a conversation between Ms Yvonne Samber, the Chairperson of the Management Committee of CR and
Mr Michael Morcos, who is the Chief Fundraiser for the charity. Mr Morcos spoke to you earlier and you
have already agreed to produce a letter to local businesses, if this is agreed.
The conversation was as follows:
Ms Samber:

Well, Michael, I believe youve got a good idea for raising money for the charity.
It would be very helpful if we could raise some funds at the moment.

Mr Morcos:

Yes, its an idea Ive seen work well elsewhere. We should publish a small
booklet regularly and sell advertising space in it.

Ms Samber:

Hmm. Im not sure. Do we have to write a lot of material?

Mr Morcos:

Thats the beauty of the plan. We really dont have to write very much
perhaps a page or two about what we are doing, but the whole publication is
full of adverts.

Ms Samber:

So you think people would buy this magazine, do you?

Mr Morcos:

No, thats another great advantage. You can get a good quality
magazine printed for quite a low cost now including colour and
pictures. We raise our funds by selling the advertising space; the
magazine is then delivered free to households in the area. My brother is a
printer and he would give us a good deal on the printing costs, and its not
expensive to get a distribution service to push them through all the letterboxes
in the town.

Ms Samber:

I see. This sounds like a good plan. How often do you think we
should publish it?

Mr Morcos:

Well, Id say we should do it monthly, at least at first. We could reduce the


number of editions later, but if its monthly, we could have special editions for
different seasons, you know, a summer special and the like.

Ms Samber:

So how do you propose we contact the businesses?

Mr Morcos:

Initially, we write to them. We can easily get a list of all businesses in the town
from the Town Council, and I would suggest that we tell them about this and
ask for their support. There are about 80,000 households in the town, so the
advertising will reach a vast range of people.

Ms Samber:

If we write the letter we can certainly point out that everyone wins. The
business gains more customers whilst supporting a very good cause. Im sure
businesses would be happy to support us and our work in promoting
research into childrens diseases.

Mr Morcos:

Oh yes, the letter should make both of these great selling points. We should
also point out that we could use all kinds of advertisements of differing sizes,
you know, full page, half a page or just a small box. My brothers company can
help them design the advert, so theyll look pretty good.

Ms Samber:

Right. But do we have to tell them how much this will cost them when
we write to the businesses?

Mr Morcos:

Oh no! We get them interested and ask them to contact us by any


method phone, letter, email whatever. Knowing the price from the start
might put them off. We can use phrases like reasonable cost.

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Ms Samber:

This sounds very promising. Im happy to agree to this initial letter being sent
out, in my name I think, and Ill report this to the Management Committee.

Mr Morcos:

Thank you, Yvonne, my colleague will see to it straight away.

After the meeting Mr Morcos asks you to write a circular letter to be sent to each business in Midville. He
asks if you can produce a letter which is personalised for each business.
Task
Write the letter for Ms Sambers signature, as requested. You can assume the organisations headed
notepaper is used.
(Total 25 marks)

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QUESTION 2
Situation
You are employed in the Human Resources Department of a company, Veggie Products, that produces
and sells packaged and canned vegetables, in the town of Midton. The company employs a large
number of temporary staff; it uses vegetables grown locally and so during the peak harvest period large
quantities of fresh vegetables are taken into the factory and stored for later processing and packaging.
In recent years, the company has faced difficulty in recruiting a sufficient number of suitable staff.
Veggie Products normally tries to recruit 50 temporary staff, but last year recruited less than a half of this
number.
You have been asked to investigate this issue and produce a report for the next meeting of the
companys Operations Committee. The focus of your investigation should be:

the recruitment trends over the last ten years


the wages paid to temporary staff compared to that paid by other local companies
how the posts were advertised

Your report should also include recommendations on how recruitment could be improved in the future.
Your research produces the following information;

Numbers of temporary staff recruited at the


busy time each year
2001
50
2002
48
2003
49
2004
40
2005
38
2006
37
2007
31
2008
30
2009
28
2010
23

Hourly wage-rate paid to staff at Veggie


Products and other large employers in the
area. (NB wage at Veggie Products = 100)
Maxi Motor Company
140
PSJ Products
117
Midton Council
108
Wiseline Railway
104
Midton Hospital
104
Veggie Products
100
Best Buy Burgers
96

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Veggie Products Advertising Policy


All temporary vacancies are advertised in the local newspaper which is sold only in Midton. It has been
suggested that the advertising should be more widespread as some potential workers might wish to
travel into Midton from other local towns.
You felt it might be useful to visit a local employment agency to speak to people seeking work, to ask
them why they do not wish to apply to Veggie Products for temporary work. Typical responses were as
follows:
I dont live in Midton. I didnt know anything about Veggie Products until I joined this agency. They dont
advertise enough.
Ive got a young family. I can only take a job with an organisation that has a nursery or a crche to look
after the children. Veggie Products hasnt got these facilities.
I must admit, Im looking for a better paid job than those on offer at Veggie Products. The wages are
poor.
I dont want to do unskilled work in a factory. Im looking for a job to suit my qualifications Ive done a
computer course. Most people now have good qualifications.
Task
Write the report on the issues of temporary staff recruitment for the Operations Committee making
suitable recommendations.
(25 marks)

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QUESTION 3
Situation
You are employed by a large company that is considering moving its operation to another part of the
country for various reasons. The company has been in the same location for many years since it was
founded and, as yet, has not identified the new location.
It is not your job to decide where the new location should be or if, or when, the move should take place,
but you have been asked to look at some of the issues that would arise should such a move take place.
You found the following article in a business journal. It will assist your understanding of the problems of
relocation. After you have read the article, answer the questions that follow.
Relocation Relocation Relocation
Anyone who has moved to a different home will be aware that moving house is considered to compare
with bereavement, marital separation and unemployment as a major cause of stress. However, for an
individual and even more so for a business, relocating need not be stressful, providing an intelligent and
systematic relocation plan is put into place well before any move happens. Organisations that have done
this say that a successful move can improve efficiency, enhance staff morale and, more importantly,
boost profits. If you are considering relocation, you are recommended to follow an Eight Point Plan.
Point 1:

Define your objectives

You must be clear as to why you are relocating. There are many reasons for doing so, such as:

you need to leave your current premises as your lease has expired
your current premises are too small
you might wish to be nearer to your market or suppliers
you might wish to find less expensive premises
you might move to take advantage of particular local skills
you might wish to take advantage of grants or incentives that are available in an area

There could be more than one reason for a relocation but it is important that this is clear to you.
Point 2:

Define your requirements

When your reasons for moving are clear to you, you can list the requirements of the new location. These
could be larger premises, cheaper premises, premises with particular transport links, availability of staff
skills anything that you need. You can divide these into essential and desirable requirements as you
prioritise.
Point 3:

Make someone responsible for managing the move

This need not be a full time role, but you do require a point of contact for all people involved in the move;
this will involve the staff affected by the move and all the external agencies assisting with it. If this
person can be the budget holder, that is also helpful. It is very clear that this person must be competent
and everyone involved must have confidence in him or her.
Point 4:

Start a search

It is not surprising that the search for new premises cannot begin until Points 1 to 3 have been
implemented. The search can now be fully focussed on the organisations specific requirements and
coordinated by the person identified as responsible.
Point 5:

Maintain staff involvement

It is inevitable that staff who will move with the organisation and also those who will not, will be anxious
and in need of reassurance. The only way to do this is to involve them in all stages of the relocation and
advise them of all progress. Any gaps in information received by them will quickly be filled with rumours,
half-truths and outright falsehoods.

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Point 6:

Arrange a schedule leading up to the move

Once suitable premises have been found, the move itself must be planned carefully. A schedule must be
published and key dates placed in the diaries of all involved. Critical path analysis, which indicates when
key parts of the process come together, can be very valuable (e.g. the packing of any equipment or
materials to be transferred to the new premises must be done before any removal lorries or vans arrive
at the old premises).
Point 7:

Inform all partners and outside agencies

Anyone with whom your organisation works, including customers, suppliers, relevant government
departments etc must be told when the move is taking place and when the new postal address,
telephone number and email address should be used. You should not overlook those who contact you
infrequently. You can arrange for a redelivery of any items sent to the old address but your partners
would wish to be informed of how to contact you in future.
Point 8:

Implement a follow-up

When you have relocated, you should not forget to evaluate how successful the move has been, thank
all involved for their efforts and celebrate the positive aspects of the move rather than dwell on the
negative aspects.
Task
Using this information, answer the following questions in your own words as far as possible, to show
your understanding of the points raised.
(a)

(b)

(c)

(d)

(e)

(f)

(g)

(h)

What can prevent a companys move from being highly stressful


for those involved?

(3 marks)

Why do you think the writer should suggest that a good plan can
more importantly boost profits at the end of a list of
advantages?

(3 marks)

Why should it be important that you are clear


about knowing the reasons for making a relocation?

(2 marks)

What would you say is the difference between essential and


desirable requirements at the new location and why do you
think it is important to differentiate between these?

(4 marks)

The writer suggests that it is important to appoint one person


to be in charge of managing the move. What do you think could
be the worst consequences of not appointing one person to do
this work?

(3 marks)

Why is it not possible to proceed with Point 4, Start a search,


until Parts 1, 2 and 3 have been completed?

(4 marks)

It is said you need to inform your staff and also your partners
(suppliers, customers etc) about the move, but the reasons for
doing this are different in each case. What are the reasons why
you should inform staff and partners?

(4 marks)

One of the reasons why you should follow up a move is to check


how successful it has been. What other two reasons for a followup are given?

(2 marks)

(Total 25 marks)

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QUESTION 4
Situation
You are employed as an administrator in the Sales Department of MDJ, a large manufacturing company.
The departments manager is Mrs Paulina Kontek. There are six other members of staff in the
department who work as sales representatives; they spend most of their time outside the office visiting
customers.
MDJ is now about to be taken over by a larger company, Exview Products, which will bring changes to
staff working conditions and practices. Mrs Kontek has spoken to you and the staff about this and said
this to you:
I know that our staff are most anxious about the takeover. Exview Products seems to have many more
rules and regulations we have always been a very relaxed company! Ive spoken to John Kinsella,
their Human Resources Manager, and hes happy to come and talk to the staff. He would need as many
staff as possible to attend.
Ive asked all staff to contact you to tell you their concerns. Id like you to summarise these issues and
put them into a sort of agenda for the meeting. Its not a proper agenda as we wont have the formalities
such as apologies for absence, minutes of the last meeting etc. I just want a summary list of the
concerns and what they are about. At this time, please dont identify who raised the concern.
John Kinsella can meet the staff next Monday 22 November 2011 at either 9.00 am or 4.00 pm. Ive
asked the staff to say which time is best for them and well arrange the meeting in the Committee Room
at the most popular time.
Theres just one more thing. Mr Kinsella has said that he cant discuss any aspect of finance salaries
or commission so please dont put this on the agenda if it is raised.
When you have produced the list of items to be discussed please send it to me in a memo, just to
confirm that everyone has spoken to you and what time has been agreed. Please also produce a notice
of the meeting which you can circulate to everyone to confirm the time of the meeting. Dont put the list
of items to be discussed in the notice as Ill issue it on the day but reassure everyone that all items they
raised will be discussed.
Youd better do this as quickly as possible, please. Oh yes, mention in the notice that we wont be
discussing any financial matters as Exview Products have told us that they cant discuss this.
Your file of responses from the six members of the sales staff is as follows:
Memo
To:
A Candidate
From: Charles Liang
Date: 15 November 2011
Theres a lot we need to discuss. Ive heard that there will be a dress code we dont like uniforms. We
all look smart so I hope theres no official dress code required. Ive heard also that we are not going to
get a new car every year. We really need one, as we all cover thousands of kilometres every year. The
later meeting is best for me.

Phone message from Ms Karen Rossi


Happy with most new regulations would like to clarify if therell be a new car each year heard that
each member of staff will not have own desk in office hot desking introduced dont like that idea
but most new regulations seem fair prefer 9 am meeting.

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Message on answerphone
Hello, its Martin van Bosch here. You want me to say what worries me about the takeover. Well, Ive
heard that sales staff will receive a greater proportion of our income as a straight salary. I think our
current commission system is much better. Im not sure about this uniform or dress code system either.
Weve never been told what to wear before. Thats all .oh, sorry, I can attend either the 9 am or 4 pm
meeting I dont mind.

From: Graham Scott [mailto:gscott@tdointernet.com]


Sent: 13.36 15 November 2011
To:
A Candidate
Cc:
Subject: RE: Meeting with John Kinsella
For me, a 9.00 am meeting is better. Im not happy about a lot of things, such as the proposed reduction
of commission payments, for a start. Ive also heard that our holiday entitlement could be reduced. Is
this true? We all work hard and we need our holidays. To be fair, I like the idea of a dress code. I think
this will improve our appearance.

This meeting 9 oclock would be better for me. Can we discuss what is going to
happen to the MDJ Sports and Social Club? I hope it can continue. I dont think
Exview have one.
Marion Mbweko
You speak to the sixth member of staff, Brian Hanson, who tells you that he is happy to attend the
meeting at either time suggested, but he has no particular concerns as he is retiring in two months time.
Task
(a)

Write a memo with the list of items to be discussed as requested.

(20 marks)

(b)

Produce a notice to be circulated to each member of staff.

(5 marks)

(Total 25 marks)

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Education Development International plc 2011