“The role of technology or online learning is essential in solving this”
The agreement will see the Malaysian startup use Pearson’s business English materials to deliver courses aimed at workers, and comes in response to surveys from online employment portal Jobs Street, which found low English proficiency among graduates one of the top concerns for employers.
“We’re trying to appeal to that [type of consumer], and what we’re trying to do is bump up their English proficiency so that they can excel in their jobs,” said Sunago co-founder and chief executive Sean Chee.
“Many employers don’t have the critical mass of candidates or staff to bring in a trainer to improve the staff’s English; it’s probably usually the case of having one or two candidates at a time. The role of technology or online learning is essential in solving this.”
Set to launch in January 2019, the course will also provide a tailored approach to professionals, based on their current English proficiency and business needs.
Chee, who is also a director at English language provider ELS Malaysia, added the course was aimed at a market of time-poor professionals, and additional services from Sunago sought to provide cheaper solutions to learners in remote and regional areas throughout South East Asia.
“Our brick-and-mortar business primarily focusses on students that need that quick and effective approach to improving their English and jumping straight to university to that,” he told The PIE News.
“I feel that technology currently has yet to catch up to meet those needs and demands.”
The announcement caps off a busy first year for Sunago, after it secured funding from government-backed startup influencer Cradle, to help it further develop its products and services.