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Consider aiming courses at women executives, BEUK AGM told

10 12 2013

Exciting opportunities for Business English specialists were outlined at a conference in London last week.

The Business English UK annual general meeting heard from Lysette Mermod, whose company supplies consultancy and tailored training services to the banking and corporate sectors about gaps in the market the sector should be tackling.
She said providing tailored services to the growing number of women leaders and entrepreneurs was one area of need, and that changing business culture meant new Business English language training opportunities in emerging markets, some of which might be via the internet and other learning platforms.

"For example, more wealthy, educated women are in Saudi universities than elsewhere in developing world – but English is rare among their business skills," she said. The development of technology and therefore more international collaboration, meant that a tipping point had been reached where English skills were no longer an advantage. "They are a prerequisite," she said.

The forms in which this training might take included in-country classroom learning, courses based in the UK, and blended courses, including interactive and recorded sessions.

"Inbound English-speaking financial centres often request study tours, combining business culture with language learning: you could partner with City firms to achieve this," she said. In addition, she suggested that centres could develop and offer business-focused gender sensitive Business English language training for the European, Middle Eastern, African and Asian markets where women made up between a quarter and a half of the workforce.
BEUK's manager, Sarah Wang, said: "It was a really fascinating discussion and gave us lots to think about."
In a panel session later in the day, discussions included the value put upon language training by customers, many of whom might have been used to paying very high fees for other types of course. Another discussion centred on how to access the "huge" Chinese market.