York Associates review of 2016

Bob Dignen

Bob Dignen

Bob has worked in the field of business and specialist English and international communication training for over twenty-five years.

Following Google’s Year of Search 2016 video, which came out last week, various news outlets have also started releasing their review of 2016. This year has been a very eventful year for us too, and we’d like to share some of our highlights with you below, as we look to 2017.

Company merger and expanding portfolio

2016 was the year we expanded our group companies, with global communication skills provider Partners in Training (PinT), Specialist Language Services (SLS), and English in York (EiY) all joining York Associates. This has enabled us to offer a wider range of services and products to a wider range of clients and customers. It’s been a busy year and we’re very happy to have grown our collective pool of expertise, our family of colleagues and our range of clients.

Executive Training in York

At home in our Executive Training Centre in York, we’ve seen an increase in our specialist language and communication skills courses and seminars. Building on over 35 years of experience in the field, we offer multiple variations of company and industry specific courses, such as courses for clients in management and project leadership, engineering, banking and finance, HR, automotive sector, works council and trade unionists, politicians and those in the public sector, to name a few. With our expansion, we have also gained more expertise and ability to offer a greater range of bespoke courses. We see further and deeper specialisation of industry and client-specific courses as a growth area for 2017.

English in York

EiY, our General English school, has had a successful year with a move to a wonderful new building, and students registered from Europe, Asia, the Middle East, South America and Africa – a truly international mix. We have also welcomed a large number of groups of 16 – 21 year old students, some attending English language and activities (museum visits, sports, visits to other cities) programmes and others attending a language course followed by 2 or 3 week work placements in local companies.

Teacher Training

Our Teacher Training courses have also enjoyed growth this year with over 160 teachers participating in our courses on a range of topics, such as Teaching with Technology, Certificate in International Business English Teaching (Cert IBET) , Teaching Intercultural skills (led by our trainer who this October spent a month teaching migrant children in the Calais “Jungle camp”) or our courses to support teachers of students with Special Educational Needs, such as Dyslexia in the Teaching Environment or Autism in the Teaching environment. We look forward to offering these and more courses in 2017. For more information, please see our Teaching Training page.

International Communication skills, Leadership and Team Training

Following our expansion, we’ve been to more places and delivered more courses than ever before.  With international training delivery of more than 170 events and seminars and over 100 leadership coachees in more than 30 countries on 6 continents.

Our trainers and associates have travelled the globe delivering a range of leadership and soft skills programmes for a range of industries including tech, banking & insurance, automotive, pharma, oil and gas, as well as a number of leading university faculties (e.g. medical and business management). We have also provided on-the-spot training and support for leading speakers at conferences and large exhibitions organised by the health care industry.

Publications & Digital Learning

Our latest publication, Leading International Projects (Kogan Page) was published in October this year. Structured around case studies from experienced project professionals, this book offers deep insights into the challenges of cross-border projects and practical ideas on how to lead successfully. The book presents the experiences of the contributors as well as their reflections on lessons learned which will be essential reading for all managers responsible for leading international projects. It was written by Bob Dignen (YA Director) and Peter Wollmann, with contributions from myself, Mike Hogan, and thirteen further project leadership professionals.

We also enjoyed writing articles for Newsmart, a Dow Jones/Wall Street Journal Business English app and look forward to working on our own digital learning project next year as well as various collaborative projects.

It has also been interesting to see the topic of ‘the native English speaker communicating internationally’ receive more attention by the media and in debate at various conferences. This BBC article from last week discusses some of the key issues as well as referencing our own ground-breaking e-learning course “International English for the Native Speaker”. This earlier article from October also discusses similar challenges for those interested in reading more.

And finally …

From all of us at York Associates we’d like to end the year by saying a big thank you to all of our clients, course participants, colleagues and friends and wishing you a peaceful and relaxing time over the holiday period and a successful start to the New Year. We hope to have the chance to meet you in 2017.

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