Cactus Editor Sarah Watkins talks to Sandy Yunta Mesnier, Recruitment Development Coordinator at Lloyds Bank International Spain, about their corporate language training programme.
Cactus has been providing in-company language training for Lloyds Spain since November 2011. As an English bank located in Spain, tuition has been required in both English and Spanish in 11 locations across Spain, from the bank’s headquarters in Madrid to branches in Marbella, Puerto Banús, Fuengirola, Alicante, Mallorca, Murcia, Pamplona, Valencia and Barcelona. We are now on our fourth set of courses with Lloyds Spain and as such they were the perfect company to tell us how corporate language training has worked for them.
Language training requirements at Lloyds Spain
Sandy starts by explaining to me that language learning has been both a staff benefit and an indispensable requirement for their business. With English customers and English roots, communication between departments and development of the different sectors of the global Lloyds group is dependent on employees being able to speak English. The closed group language lessons have been effective in helping the business grow and succeed.
The minimum language level required for all employees is C1 (advanced level according to the Common European Framework), whilst those in direct contact with clients need to reach C2 (mastery or proficiency). Staff have achieved a solid grammatical base and good written skills, but most importance is placed on reaching fluency in the spoken language and gaining confidence to speak in any situation.
As for what employees think, the feedback has been very positive. Students feel very close to their allocated teachers and motivated by their passion with teaching. Each time they re-initiate a round of training, there are many voluntary requests for language training, over and above those that are required by the business, reflecting the desire as well as the need to continue learning.
The logistics of setting up language training
I asked Sandy whether language training had been a good use of funds for Lloyds Spain and she said that without a doubt, for them it had been.
She was quick to recommend direct contact with Cactus for any language training requirements, citing our efficiency, our ability to find the right teachers and our flexibility in dealing with a company such as theirs undergoing continual change. She also praised the friendliness of all our representatives, highlighting the huge work effort, dedication and professionalism of Ernesto Forner (Head of Corporate Language Training) and his team.
Advice for other companies
I was keen to know whether, with her experience of organising corporate language tuition across such a vast number of locations, Sandy had any advice to offer other companies considering offering the same. She said that Cactus had made it very easy to set up a language training programme across 11 locations, knowing how to adapt to the many different offices, locations and training requirements. For their part, Lloyds has always tried to provide clear and accurate information about each office and the particular staff involved, so collaboration on both sides has facilitated the smooth running of a large scale language training programme.
As for what the future holds, Lloyds Spain now forms part of the Banco Sabadell group, and Sandy tells me that they hope to still receive a solid training programme. Although English language training will not be as crucial as it has been at Lloyds, the banking world will always require a certain level of English language knowledge and, certainly as far as Cactus are concerned, we would happily continue to provide this for more years to come.
Many thanks to Sandy for taking the time to talk to us.
Cactus specialises in organising language courses for individuals and groups, having done so since 1999 for clients all over the globe and for diverse needs and budgets. Our expertise in the field of face-to-face tuition is second-to-none. With an extensive network of approved teachers and a strong in-house academic team, we are able to tailor a language course to suit your specific learning needs, anywhere in the world and whenever is convenient to you.