Highlands-based TEFL specialist targeting overseas sales push

An Inverness-based business that says it is the world’s “largest and most accredited” provider of teaching English as a foreign language (TEFL) has cheered overseas sales growth – including a major jump in demand in the US.

The firm – which recently won a Queen’s Award for Enterprise in International Trade, has moved to employee ownership, and says it has provided internationally recognised qualifications to more than 150,000 teachers – said the growth comes as it eyes further international expansion in the coming months.

It added that it has seen international sales grow by 386 per cent in the past three years, increasing the proportion of those overseas to 49 per cent from 16 per cent. In the US, it hit record sales of its courses in the US, which have increased 550 per cent since 2019, leading to the firm’s market share rising to 22.5 per cent in 2021 from 0.2 per cent in 2017.

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The company, which was launched from a garden shed in the middle of the 2008 financial crash and reported a boom in demand for online classes after the onset of the pandemic, has found that more Californians enrolled in its courses than from anywhere else in the US. Dr Joan Pagnotta, who teaches for the firm in the state, said TEFL is fast-becoming a recognised career choice amongst many young locals as course enrolment bounces back from the pandemic.

She said: “TEFL is a well-paying profession providing flexibility, which in today’s climate makes it an ideal job for those who either want to teach from home, or who would like to travel and experience living and working in different countries.”

The TEFL Org boss Andy Healy said: “The US has untapped potential in terms of TEFL opportunities. However, we are gradually seeing more students from across the country enrolling in our courses, and California is the best-performing state in the US for sales, followed by Florida and then Texas.

“Our goal is to of course expand our reach in the US but we also want to showcase TEFL as a career where you can pick your hours, your jobs and the destinations you choose to travel to.”

The Scottish firm says it has seen international sales grow by 386 per cent in the past three years (file image). Picture: contributed.
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