Avanza 8TV Interview

ECC Interview on Avanza.

Interview on Avanza 8TV with David Randell Jimenez and Enrique Bodega Rodriguez.


Esteban: We’re here again on the second part of our show Avanza, here at 8TV,always giving a voice and a platform to business endeavors from Cadiz.

Last week we were speaking toThe English Centre heads. A really important teaching centre not only in Cadiz, but also on a national level.

We have all the numbers and data that support it. We were talking to David Randell, the General Manager, about a project that we all would like to know something more of, and that is The English Centre College project. My english is not that good, so, sorry about that. But I’m sure David Randell is going to say it way better than me. How do you pronounce it, David?

David Randell: English Centre College. It’s all about phonetics, spanish people have a different pronunciation…and things like these happen. Anyway, Esteban, thank you so much for inviting us again to 8TV and to the Avanza show. We are moving forward with our education project. So, you know, we are really excided to be here.

We’re also excited to share, because we think that it can be really useful and interesting to everyone that’s hearing us now.

This new education project we’re starting up. And here with us is Enrique who, as a matter of fact, can go into detail about the project.

We’re talking about a Higher National Diploma, in our case, international. Always focusing on a practical vocation. Our purpose is “growing together”. It’s translated as (in Spanish) “growing together” So we have always thought that, not only our students should grow, we as a teaching centre should grow as well. That’s why the goal is growing together.

Our goal is also to create a sustainable future with a purpose. We think that this progress, in our Vocational Training, gives the opportunity to young people to have several paths, and all of them are very interesting.

And the last part of our purpose is “life long love of learning”. That’s why we would like to continue with this educational offer.

Esteban:A very important catchphrase, which is also written in a lot of parts of the centre. You were just talking about Enrique, how are you? Welcome, Enrique.

Enrique Bodega: Thank you so much for having us.

Esteban: Enrique Bodega is the Director of Admissions of this new project. Tell us about it, a fascinating project.

Enrique Bodega:Completely. It’s a beautiful project. It’s a project that, in my opinion, is offering something to young people here, in Cadiz. It’s not just that it doesn’t exist in Andalucia, it doesn’t even exist in Spain.

I think sometimes we have a hard time appreciating the education we provide in this country. And I think that the fact that we can have such a nice and outstanding project in our province, is something we should really be proud of.

It’s Vocational Training, which is starting to get really popular.

We know that it’s an alternative itinerary, and outside of this country, vocational training is viewed in a less stigmatized way. We know that it has the ability to prepare our young people in a very practical way, with really high empleability programmes.

We’re talking about young people that, after finishing the training, they get incorporated into the job market at a 99%, 85% or 100% chance in the first year.

Always looking for, as David said, our idiosyncrasy as a company, which is having that internationality and market opening. We’ve put faith in projects that can offer a double degree, and not only in Spain.

And that is Vocational Training and the Higher National Diploma.

David Randell: I think there’s something really important about this. And that is that we’ve obviously been very associated with the international sector. And in this case, with the British sector. We have had really strong connections with British universities since we started.

Nowadays, British universities are clearly measuring the level of employability that certain careers have. And not only the university. If I have this specific career in this specific university, my students get a job in the first two months after they finish.

Those are the statistics that actually work because they know what their students need. We have that mindset and what we’re offering is a good and bright future for young people.

It’s a Vocational Training, a higher one, national, and at the same time they’re getting the British equivalent.

Esteban: And they don’t need to be in England for that period of time.

David Randell: Exactly. In those two years, with the CV we have designed, they get that double degree; that British degree named HND. And that is automatically recognised not only in the UK, but in a lot of other countries around the world.

Therefore, they have a lot of paths that involve working and traveling. And at the same time, what we’re offering is that, they can go to the UK for a year, to university, and they can get a University Degree.

So basically, they can look for a career opportunity, they can do a third year in the UK, and they can also get a university degree, doing two years here and one year in the UK.

That’s why I say that we think that it’s a very interesting offer with a lot of value to the young people from our province.

Esteban: An interesting offer to young people, but, I think mostly about the parents. They perfectly know that they’re going to make an financial effort but, in a couple years or three, or four, their son could be working already and with a high employability level. So, financial effort, of course.

David Randell: Sometimes when we think of an HND, we tend to assume that it’s related to a lower level inside salary levels.

In our researches, due to the internationality we offer, and we have a lot of research because we work with Pearson. This gives them incredible career and growing opportunities. So, the family that’s really concerned about them being properly trained, and then having development opportunities…We have all that under complete control.

Anyone who would like more information, we’d be delighted to attend them. Both young people that want to access this training, and legal guardians.

Esteban: Because they’re the ones “paying for it”.

Enrique Bodega: In the end I feel like, what we’re offering to the parents, is certainty. First we’re talking about a teaching centre with over 50 years of experience, which personally I think it’s not easy to get there.

Esteban: ECC is not just starting. We’re talking about a centre with a lot of experience.

Enrique Bodega: Exactly. And I think that, in the end, what we’re offering is certainty. 3 years, 3 degrees. 2 years, 2 degrees. I mean, we’re offering a lot of paths here.

And, above that, we need to talk about what job levels they can access to with Vocational Training.

The market is evolving really fast. Companies evolve every day. And from our point of view, the point of view of people who are actually in that world, we’re looking for people that can get straight to work and don’t need training. And by that I mean that, I want the person that comes in, to come with the required skills so he/she can get straight to work since day 1, giving results since day 1.

Vocational Training has a lot of capacity, especially the kind of Vocational Training we’re offering, which is designed precisely with the primary sector actors.

For example, the Business Studies and Marketing degree is designed with the main Marketing companies in the international sector. And in the end, you’re giving them some skills that are going to allow them to outstand since day 1. That is going to allow them to be successful people.

Esteban: Practice. That’s what sometimes is missing from universities, daily practice. Theory is important and practice is important. But there has to be practice. I feel like we tend to think that, when we finish a career in our country, that is the moment when we need to start the practical part.

David Randell: That’s what people are starting to talk about in the corporate world. So, we’ve been always connected to Early Years education, primary education, secondary education…never with the tertiary. But we’ve been connected to it and talking to it.

And we’re very connected to the corporate world, because, obviously, we are in it. We’ve seen that we need to buy bridges to unite those two worlds. And this is the way we’re doing it.

What Enrique was saying, if that young man finishes his Vocational Training, gets a job and from day one people are seeing that he is a qualified person; it’s not only that he gets the job, it’s the fact that people are going to see that they need to work with him.

Therefore, he keeps developing and having a professional career; which is one of the main goals we have. And they have to finish their training having that mindset: That even if they finish, they have to keep training.

And if we have that mindset, they will keep growing. And that growing will provide them with the certainty that the families are looking for. In the end they need to know that their kids are going to be successful in the future. Successful, always having in mind that, even if they have their job, they still have to be happy and doing what they really want to do.

We work on all of those things with secondary education, and now we want to do it with tertiary education. But it’s actually a very fascinating project.

Esteban: We’re talking about teachers that are professionals in the subjects you’re teaching daily. They are working or they’ve worked in that, so they’re “updated”.

Enrique Bodega: But not just that, we’re talking about a really dynamic educational concept that Vocational Training and HND allow us to have. And it’s also very influenced by the English-speaking culture.

It’s a really dynamic concept. Because it’s not only about a teaching team, it’s also about the Masterclass concept. I can invite someone from the CEEI, and that person can give a masterclass. I can invite someone from the CEA, and that person can give a masterclass.

So, the student is getting something out of his own teachers and he’s getting something out of different people that are actually in that world daily. Who can come and tell them about real experiences.

I think that the student’s capacity to finish this training ready for the real world is incredible. A real world in which this degree is recognised in 80 different countries. I mean, they’re not finishing ready for the Spanish real world. They finish ready for the real global world.

David Randell: We always give a really personalized care to our students, and that’s what we’re going to keep doing. In the end, each student has his own way of learning, his own interests, and his own worries. Obviously, we’re going to have tutors that are going to walk with them in the process.

Not only in their academic development, also in their personal development. Those two years that they’re going to be with us, we still want to walk with them in that growing.

It’s a commitment that, as a teaching centre, we’ve always done. But not all teaching centres realise that they have to walk with their students. As we have already said, the method is, an active learning.

The student, has to take control over his life, and he has to know how he really wants his life to be. We’re going to do these things with our centre’s methods.

Evidently, it’s an experiential learning. We need to have practical activities to prepare them. And, of course, always meaningful. In the end they’re building their knowledge in a way that’s going to help them in their future. All of this knowledge that we already have, we will be putting it in this project.

That’s why we think that, as a Vocational Training offer for Cadiz, our province, we’re offering something different, that it’s really worth it. And, in the end, it’s a really big effort.

Every time we start a new project, we have this really big hope, because we know what the result is.

We’ve been working on this project for 8 years. We’ve been working with centres that have done this exact same thing in the UK, in Germany, in different places. We need to guarantee that our project is going to work by joining our +50 years of experience with the experience of our partners.

We need to be in line with what we’ve always done. And that’s why we’re doing this.

What I said before about the student going to university when he finishes those two years; that’s an open choice, he can go to any university. But we have an agreement with two universities where, they don’t even need to do the application; if they finish with us, they’re automatically admitted there. That is also an assurance.

What I mean is, with that degree, I’m going to be admitted. But also, we guarantee two universities: Swansea, because it’s really close to me, it’s where we’re from as a family; and Derby, because those are two universities that are really aligned with the training we’re offering. So they already know that they have that assurance.

It’s all very thought out, really analyzed; because we have to offer that certainty that from The English Centre, we couldn’t offer any other way.

Esteban:Two degrees. We’ve talked about the HND in Business Studies (Marketing). But there’s one more.

Enrique Bodega: Yes, we also have the HND in Travel and Tourism Management (Events).

Esteban: And why that one?

Enrique Bodega: Well, there’s a couple of interesting reasons. The first one, because we think it’s really powerful regarding the wealth it can provide to our province. We think that both of them are very powerful, because right know marketing, is the chalice from which every company should drink. We think that it can offer them a lot of opportunities.

And in the other hand, we’re also looking at those employability rates we were talking about earlier. What degrees or careers have employability rates that we consider powerful enough to offer them to our students? And these are the careers. For example. at Swansea, students who obtain the Marketing degree, 99,1% of them get a job on their first year out. Students who get the Tourism Management degree at Derby, 100% of them get a year on their first year out.

So, of course, we wanted to be sure about it.

David Randell: I think that there are two benefits. One of them is that the translation of the HND is Business and Marketing. And the equivalent we do with the UK career is going to offer them a lot of paths in that third year. The student can specialize in marketing, or even end up somewhere like business development and ending up having a Master in Finances. I mean, we’re offering them a lot of paths.

And about Travel and Business Management, first of all, our province deserves to have, what we call, a source of ideas. We are going to work with some companies so students can prepare a final project and introduce it to “Business Angels” just for the experience. But they will be working on a project.

I feel like we all know that sometimes we tend to think that Tourism is kind of dead, but if we talk about leisure and entertainment, well, what we have to know is where we should channel our efforts with Tourism and Business Management. And about leisure, I think that we haven’t even finished exploring what is coming to us as a society, as an evolving society. We know that one of the most important parts is how we distribute our time.

Therefore, we think that both of them are degrees that, as Enrique said, if they like it and we’re assuring what we’re actually assuring, it’s a successful path.

Esteban: I completely agree. We’re almost finishing, but I wouldn’t like to do it without giving the opportunity to people who are watching to find out a little more about this. How can they do that, Enrique? Through their web page, social media, phone number….Or maybe you can go visit them to their centre.

Enrique Bodega: Of course. We’re always delighted to attend anyone who wants to come here. We’re in El Puerto de Santa María, really close actually.

David Randell: We’re in El Puerto, but we’re from Cadiz.

Esteban: You are, actually, in the centre of the province.

David Randell: Exactly. We attend people from Jerez, from Rota, from every municipally really.

Enrique Bodega: We even attend people from Madrid, so… Jokes aside, we’re in El Puerto de Santa María, always happy to receive you in our facilities. Which will also be the facilities of our centre. We also have our web-page; eccollege.es. And then we have our customer service line which is 956 000 777. We’re always happy to receive you.

David Randell: And maybe we all know a little more about The English Centre, so through that website you can access too.

What I always say, even if it’s a concern. You don’t need to be clear-headed about everything, we would be happy to share something we love. If they have any doubts or concerns, here we are.

Esteban:You can go to El Puerto, get to The English Centre, and they will be happy to open the doors for you. The man or woman that will be there will be informing you on everything, introducing you to Enrique… And it’s going to excite you, because Enrique and David create excitement when they speak. Because you can tell, they love what they do. And you can tell. Thank you very much, David.

David Randell: Thank you so much for having us and for opening your doors to us.

Esteban: They will always be open for you. Enrique, thank you very much.

Enrique Bodega: Thank you so much, Esteban.

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