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23.06.05
Language Welcome

Hoteliers and teachers are being given the chance to learn foreign languages

under an initiative to boost Cornwall's tourism industry.
Already more than 200 hoteliers and others in the tourism industry have signed up for the one day Welcome International courses in European languages and longer NVQ courses. More courses are planned for the autumn and schools will become involved as well.

The Tourism Skills Network has received £100,000 investment from Objective One and the Learning and Skills Council for the scheme. Jane Cowans, Tourism Skills Network spokesperson said: "It is all about improving the language skills in tourism businesses in Cornwall to help them become more profitable by enlarging their markets. The three key languages we have chosen to offer, following research, are French, German and Spanish."

The language courses are also aimed at extending the tourism 'shoulder season' because many European visitors take holidays in Cornwall in June and September, not during the busy summer months. "Overseas visitors come for other reasons apart from bucket and spade holidays," added Jane. "They come for reasons such as culture and heritage."

Two of the one day courses have already been held, in Saltash and Falmouth and a course in St Austell in July is already almost full. But 10 more are planned across Cornwall for the autumn followed by another 12 in partnership with Cornwall Adult Education Service.

The NVQs are being offered via distance learning, so hoteliers can learn via the internet rather than having to give up valuable time to travel to a college. Advisers based at Truro College will also be available to visit or give advice on line or over the telephone. The NVQs are in four parts, speaking, listening, reading and writing and students have until June 2007 to complete them.

Funding and training for schools is also being provided by the Tourism Skills Network via Truro College so that two teachers from each school can become accredited NVQ assessors (achieving an A1 award ) and one of those teachers will then train to become an accredited internal verifier (a V1 award).

"I have been pleased with the positive response from the tourism businesses themselves," said Jane. "They see this as a really valuable project. Teachers are also going to be trained to deliver the Welcome International course, which could be useful to use within schools as it shows languages can be fun and accessible to all."

For further information please contact the Clare Morgan Objective One Partnership Office on 01872 223439 or 07973 813647 or email: cmorgan@cornwall.gov.uk.

The Objective One Programme for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly has invested in The Tourism Skills Network through the European Social Fund (ESF).

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Editor's notes:

 

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Clare Morgan
Media Relations Manager
Objective One Partnership Office
Castle House
Pydar Street
Truro TR1 2UD
Mobile: 07973 813647
Telephone: 01872 223439

cmorgan@cornwall.gov.uk

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