Text 1

Reskilling is something that sounds like a buzzword but is actually arequirement if we plan to have a future where a lot of would-be workers do notget left behind.

We know we are moving into a period where the jobs in demand will changerapidly, as will the requirements of the jobs that remain. Research by the WEFdetailed in the Harvard Business Review, finds that on average 42 per cent ofthe “core skill” within job roles will change by 2022. That is a very shorttimeline, so we can only imagine what the changes will be further in thefuture.

The question of who should pay for reskilling is a thorny one. Forindividual companies, the temptation is always to let go of workers whose skillsare no longer demand and replace them with those whose skills are. That does notalways happen. AT&T is often given as the gold standard of a company whodecided to do a massive reskilling program rather than go with a fire-and-hirestrategy ultimately retraining 18,000 employees. Prepandemic, other companiesincluding Amazon and Disney had also pledged to create their own plans. When theskills mismatch is in the broader economy though, the focus usually turns togovernment to handle. Efforts in Canada and elsewhere have been arguably languidat best, and have given us a situation where we frequently hear of employersbegging for workers even at times and in regions where unemployment is high.

With the pandemic, unemployment is very high indeed. In February, at 3.5per cent and 5.5 per cent respectively, unemployment rates in Canada and theUnited States were at generational lows and worker shortages were everywhere. Asof May, those rates had spiked up to 13.3 per cent and 13.7 per cent, andalthough many worker shortages had disappeared, not all had done so. In themedical field, to take an obvious example, the pandemic meant that there werestill clear shortages of doctors, nurses and other medical personnel.

Of course, it is not like you can take an unemployed waiter and train himto be doctor in few weeks, no matter who pays for it. But even if you cannotclose that gap, maybe you can close others, and doing so would be to the benefitof all concerned. That seems to be the case in Sweden, where the pandemickick-started a retraining program where business as well as government had arole.

Reskilling in this way would be challenging in a North American context.You can easily imagine a chorus of “you can’t do that” because teachers ornurses or whoever have special skills, and using any support staff who has beenquickly trained is bound to end in disaster. Maybe. Or maybe it is somethingthat can work well in Sweden, with its history of co-operation between business,labour and government, but not in North America where our history is verydifferent. Then again, maybe it is akin to wartime, when extraordinary thingstake place, but it is business as usual after the fact. And yet, as in war thepandemic is teaching us that many things, including rapid reskilling, can bedone if there is a will to do them. In any case, Swedens’ work force is now moreskilled, in more things, and more flexible than it was before.

Of course, reskilling programs, whether for pandemic needs or thepostpandemic world, are expensive and at a time when everyone’s budgets are leanthis may not be the time to implement them. Then again, extending income supportprograms to get us through the next months is expensive, too, to say nothing ofthe cost of having a swath of long-term unemployed in the POST-COVID years Giventhat, perhaps we should think hard about whether the pandemic can jump-start usto a place where reskilling becomes much more than a buzzword.

21. Research by the World Economic Forum suggests

A. an increase in full-time employment

B. an urgent demand for new job skills

C. a steady growth of job opportunities

D. a controversy about the “core skills”

22. AT&T is cited to show

A. an alternative to the fire-and-hire strategy

B. an immediate need for government support

C. the importance of staff appraisal standards

D. the characteristics of reskilling program

23. Efforts to resolve the skills mismatch in Canada

A. have driven up labour costs

B. have proved to be inconsistent

C. have met with fierce opposition

D. have appeared to be insufficient

24. We can learn from Paragraph 3 that there was

A. a call for policy adjustment.

B. a change in hiring practices.

C. a lack of medical workers.

D. a sign of economic recovery.

25. Scandinavian Airlines decided to

A. Great job vacancies for the unemployed.

B. Prepare their laid-off workers for other jobs.

C. Retrain

their cabin staff for better services.

D. finance their staff’ s college education.



21. B an urgent demand for new job skills对新职业技能的迫切需求

分析:根据题干关键词WEF定位至第二段第二句话,本句话意为“WEF的研究表明到2022年职业技能当中42%的核心技能将会发生变化”,B选项的urgentdemand 是对该句的合理推断;A选项全职工作原文未提及;C选项工作机会的增长原文没有体现;D选项的争论原文未提及。

22. A an alternative to the fire-and-hire strategy 解雇招聘策略的替换方案

分析:本题为例证题。根据题干关键词定位至第三段第四句话,本句话为例子内容,要证明的观点为前一句,即“并不总是那样的”,可知举例是为了证明不是所有的企业都要去解雇缺乏所需技能的员工,即A选项所说,对于招聘解雇策略的替换方案,另外根据例子本身也可看出“ratherthan fire-and-hire”即A选项的“an alternativeto”;B选项政府支持在定位区未提及;C选项员工评估标准无中生有;D选项reskilling为例子本身,且未体现其特点。

23. D have appeared to be insufficient 似乎是不充足的

分析:根据题干关键词efforts in Canada定位至第三段第七句,句中arguably languid对应D选项中的insufficient;A选项劳动成本上升在原文未体现;B选项inconsistent曲解了定位句的含义,原文说的是无力慵懒而不是前后矛盾;C选项受到激烈反对原文未体现。

24. C a lack of medical workers 缺乏医疗工作者



25. B prepared their laid-off workers for other jobs 让他们的下岗员工准备做其他工作

分析:根据题干定位至倒数第二段末句,该句说,瑞典的员工在更多方面更具有技术,in more things对应B选项otherjobs;其他三个选项未提及。

Text 2

With the global population predicted to hit close to 10 billion by 2050,and forecasts that agricultural production in some regions will need to nearlydouble to keep pace, food security is increasingly making headlines. In the UK,it has become a big talking point recently too, for a rather particular reason:Brexit.

Brexit is seen by some as an opportunity to reverse a recent trend towardsthe UK importing food. The country produces only about 60 per cent of the foodit eats, down from almost three-quarters in the late 1980s. A move back toself-sufficiency, the argument goes, would boost the farming industry,

politicalsovereignty and even the nations health. Sounds great- but how feasible is thisvision?

According to a report on UK food production from the University of Leeds,UK, 85 percent of the country’s total land area is associated with meat anddairy production. That supplies 80 percent of what is consumed, so even coveringthe whole country in livestock farms wouldn’t allow us to cover all our meat anddairy needs.

There are many caveats to those figures, but they are still grave. Tobecome much more self-sufficient, the UK would need to drastically reduce itsconsumption of animal foods, and probably also farm more intensively meaningfewer green fields and more factory-style production.

But switching to a mainly plant-based diet wouldn’t help. There is a goodreason why the UK is dominated by animal husbandry: most of its terrain doesn’thave the right soil or climate to grow crops on commercial basis. Just 25 percent of the country’s land is suitable for crop-growing, most of which isalready occupied by arable fields. Even if we converted all the suitable land tofields of fruit and veg— which would involve taking out all the naturereserves and removing thousands of people from their homes—we would achieve onlya 30 percent boost in crop production.

Just 23 per cent of the fruit and vegetables consumed in the UK arecurrently home-grown, so even with the most extreme measures we could meet only30 per cent of our fresh produce needs. That is before we look for the space togrow the grains, sugars, seeds and oils that provide us with the vast bulk ofour current calorie intake.

26. Some people argue that food self-sufficiency in the UK would____.

[A]a be hindered by its population growth

[B]contribute to the nations well-being

[C]become a priority of the government

[D]post a challenge to its farming industry

27. The report by the University of Leeds showed that in the UK

[A] farmland has been inefficiently utilised

[B] factory style production needs reforming

[C] most land is used for meat and dairy production

[D] more green fields will be converted for farming

28. Crop-growing in the UK is restricted due to ____.

[A] its farming technology

[B] its dietary tradition

[C] its natural conditions

[D] its commercial interests

29. It can be learned from the last paragraph that British people____.

[A] rely largely on imports for fresh produce

[B] enjoy a steady rise in fruit consumption

[C] are seeking effective ways to cut calorie intake

D] are trying to grow new varieties of grains

30. The author’s attitude to food self-efficiency in the UK is ____.

[A] defensive

[B] doubtful

[C] tolerant

[D] optimistic



26. B contribute to the nations well-being 带来国民幸福

分析:根据题干定位词food self-sufficiency in theUK定位至第二段倒数第二句,本句话说恢复自给自足会促进农业发展、政治主权及国家健康,可概括成B选项的nationswell-being;A、D两个选项否定含义与原文相反,C选项无中生有。

27. C most land is used for meat and dairy production 大多数土地用来生产肉和奶制品

分析:根据题干关键词University of Leeds定位至第三段第一句,其中85 percent of the country’s totalland area对应C选项most land,meat and dairyproduction原词复现;A选项无效利用曲解原文,原文只是说全部利用产量依然不够,而不是土地没有被有效利用;B选项reform过度推断;D选项与原文相反,定位句下一句说就算全部用来生产肉和奶依然不够。

28. C its natural conditions 它的自然环境

分析:根据题干关键词Crop-growing in theUK定位至第五段第三句,本句话说只有25%的土地适合被用来种植作物,而原因体现在前一句:它的大部分地形没有适宜的土壤和其后来种植商业作物,可概括成C选项的naturalconditions;其他三个选项的耕种技术、饮食习惯和商业利益在定位区均未体现。

29. A rely largely on imports for fresh produce 生鲜产品主要依赖进口


30. B doubtful 怀疑的




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