Customer service on the map in South Korea after students’ Bournville College experience

South Korean students will be taking the goals of world-class customer service back home after completing the UK-leading Welcome Host Gold training course during their eight-week placement with Bournville College in Birmingham.

29 students, aged 18-22, from 14 different South Korean universities and colleges, took the one-day customer service training course. Their vocational learning-based visit was funded by the South Korean government. It also included assignments looking at customer service in practice in Oxford, Stratford-upon-Avon, Birmingham, London and Drayton Manor Theme Park.

Alan Sampson, Deputy Director of International Operations at Bournville College said: “We were asked to incorporate an internationally-recognised customer service short course into the placement. Welcome Host Gold fitted the bill perfectly. It covers core skills, the latest techniques and, vitally, practical learning which the students can take back to South Korea and use in their future working lives.

“We had highly positive feedback from the students, who recognise the importance of customer service in the tourism sector, and saw the added value they can take from the learning and new skills they have acquired into the wider business world.”

Sue Gill, Welcome to Excellence national lead and Head of Training and Skills at Tourism South East said: “Delivering great customer service is a global ambition for all countries’ tourism sectors, and in their wider economy. Bournville College is giving students skills and knowledge that are highly transferable and valuable throughout their careers.”

The South Korean undergraduates are studying tourism, industrial and business management degrees back home. Their placement covered a whole package of activities including visits to industry, cultural venues and formal learning such as advanced English language skills, health and safety and the Welcome Host Gold customer service course.

The students are from these institutions: Ansan University, Kyungin Women's College, Seokang University, Yeungnam College of Science and Technology, Kimcheon Science College, Gyeonggi College of Science and Technology, Yeongjin College, Gumi College, Suncheon College, Ulsan College, Kyunbunk College, Kyungin Women's College, Anyang Science University, Induk University. 

Bournville College’s expanding international work has included recently opening offices in Kolkata and Kuala Lumpur. Alan Sampson said: “People from countries as varied as India, Malaysia, Italy, Spain, the Philippines and South Korea are studying full and part-time with us. We also deliver courses and training overseas, often in partnership with local providers. 

“Welcome Host Gold is a highly transferable course as the goals and skills needed to provide world-class customer service are common to all countries. It is practical and adaptable, and we will look to incorporate it into further tourism and business courses and offer flexibly to suit students’ needs as we have done with the group from South Korea.” 

Bournville College offers courses for school leavers, adults, employers and international students. It offers a wide choice of full and part time academic and vocational qualifications including A Levels, BTECs, NVQs, Apprenticeships and bespoke qualifications. Bournville College relocated to a brand new £66 million state-of-the-art campus in Longbridge in September 2011. More information at: www.bournville.ac.uk

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