The benefits of upskilling local English language teachers with specialist staff from the UK were outlined to a major conference in Malaysia last week.
Delegates from all over South East Asia attended the BES Asia conference, which was addressed by Huan Japes, English UK's Deputy Chief Executive.
"It was great: there was a good mix of business people and representatives from universities and vocational education providers," said Mr Japes.
"I did a seminar session on teacher training, and how English UK members could improve the skills of existing teachers working in the region.
"There was also a lot of interest from local universities in soft skills training for graduates, to help their employability. They've identified a lot of people in the region who have got university degrees, who are fantastically gifted academically, but aren't really ready to work because they don't have the communication skills. They've been doing rote learning, taking examinations and passing them.
"There's a big focus on getting they ready for the world of work, focusing on business communication, knowing how to work in an office, and connect with people particularly in meetings.
"There are big opportunities. Many English Language teachers are needed to upskill local staff, particularly in methodology and pedagogy and our members could handle that."
Mr Japes said he had also had some interesting discussions with local British Council representatives exploring partnership opportunities in the region.
He joked: "Our English UK cotton bags also went down well: I took 200 with me and gave them all away. One lady wanted to sew them together to make cushions, which was a new one on me."
English UK members attending the conference were Sheffield College and Sussex Coast College Hastings.
There will also be a number of education and training opportunities in Sri Lanka in January 2014.
The EDEX Expo will take place both in Colombo and Kandy and last year there were around 326 booths (259 in Colombo and 67 in Kandy) with exhibitors representing 16 countries.
The exhibition is scheduled for 17-19 January 2014 in Colombo and 24-25 January 2014 in Kandy. The will be the 11th consecutive year the exhibition is being conducted. Click here to download an education sector report by UKTI.
For more information visit their website www.edex.lk or contact the Edex Secretariat on firstname.lastname@example.org, +94 11 5521497 or +94 11 3091086.
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