More Varied Language Training for Construction Workers

      February 23, 2012 07:31

      As more and more construction companies advance into overseas markets, their staff are busy learning Chinese, Spanish, Vietnamese or even Arabic, not to mention the importance of fluency in English as a basic language skill.

      In addition to telephone-based or online learning programs, employers are providing in-house language courses, and many now include foreign-language skills in their staff evaluations.

      Hyundai Engineering and Construction, Samsung C&T Corporation, GS Engineering and Construction and POSCO are those offering such classes for their staff.

      Many employees who are about to work abroad must attend intensive foreign language programs. At Samsung C&T, an employee who is assigned duties related to China or South America, or who is relocated to these regions, is required to attend intensive Mandarin or Spanish courses from five to 10 weeks.

      GS Engineering and Construction also provides internal language courses for Russian, Vietnamese and Spanish for its staff who are scheduled to work abroad. Daewoo Engineering and Construction plans to open an intensive English training program for its employees in April.

      Although this burgeoning demand for additional foreign language skills is putting the workers under pressure, people in the industry think such skills are essential for them to remain competitive in the construction job market these days.

      According to the Korea Federation of Construction Contractors, overseas contracts are expected to take up 45.9 percent of total sales this year, an increase from 38 percent in 2011.

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