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Cardiff ELT school goes for recovery and expansion

The school has landed four major new contracts across three continents in the last three years. Photo: Pexels

"We have grown significantly since we first opened our doors over 15 years ago"

The school wants to build on its success by setting its sights on exports and overseas contracts, after landing four major new contracts across three continents over the last three years.

“We are immensely proud to export our English language teaching services all around the world,” said CEO Shoko Doherty.

“We have grown significantly since we first opened our doors over 15 years ago and our new contract wins are a result of our strategy to continually focus on diversifying and developing our international links,” Doherty, who is also vice chair at English UK, added.

The Welsh government has bolstered its support over the years, giving the school access to the Overseas Business Development Fund – enabling representatives to go on trade missions and allowing for other key market opportunities.

The more recent support from the Welsh government in the form of their Economic Resilience Fund for digital innovation has allowed for further diversification of its services for hybrid teaching, including professional camera equipment and a suite of professional development lessons.

“Most of our business has been secured by travelling abroad and meeting new clients directly,” Doherty said.

“These interactions have been crucial to both attracting students to study at our school in Wales, as well as building relationships in order to obtain in-country contracts in target territories, so we are very thankful to the Welsh government for their support in making this possible.”

“Most of our business has been secured by travelling abroad and meeting new clients directly”

Recent projects include two remote teaching contacts with Kuwait and Vietnam, which are starting this year – they will see Celtic English Academy deliver online sessions with “national in-country partners” to support the development of English teachers in the countries.

The school now looks to expand its “international presence”, setting its sights on Latin America, Japan and the Middle East as “key routes” for recovery and subsequent growth.

It is not taking its time, having already recruited staff in Japan and Brazil, and already exploring teaching opportunities in Saudi Arabia off the back of a “rising demand for ELT” in the region.

“Exporting is central to us as a business,” Doherty explained.

“Working with students and teachers from a variety of nationalities, as well as our emphasis on being agile and adapting to changes, has helped us remain resilient, especially through the [pandemic].

“We are not reliant on one single market or region,” she stressed.

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