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UK ELT dealt heavy blow by pandemic

English UK, the national association for roughly 350 accredited English language teaching centre members in the UK, has released research that shows just how badly hit the industry has been by the pandemic.

ELT centres saw revenue loss of £590 million during 2020, along with 91% of its staff affected, with more than half losing their jobs. Another number that shows just how bleak things have become is 79, the per cent enrolment fell compared with 2019.

“This latest report lays bare the devastation wrought by Covid-19 on a thriving industry full of otherwise viable businesses, and to staff, who have been so badly affected,” says English UK’s chief executive, Jodie Gray. “Most of these businesses are on their knees, waiting for a change in travel restrictions which would allow students to return in significant numbers.

“We and our members were bitterly disappointed by the failure of the Budget to officially extend the business rates holiday to ELT centres and by the possible restriction of grants to businesses which were officially ordered to close. We are redoubling our political lobbying and urging our members to do the same.”

Further commentary came from English UK’s research partner, Bonard: “‘In a qualitative section of the survey, respondents highlighted the need for English UK to continue its lobbying efforts to ensure the industry profile is raised and recognition is given to how UK ELT continues to be among the most impacted sectors nationally.

“This report shows the extent the Covid-19 crisis has damaged the UK ELT industry and indicates that recovery will be slow, given that the industry relies heavily on inbound visitors to the UK. Government support will be critical, as will the implementation of policies by all stakeholders to restore market confidence in the UK as an ELT destination.”

Image courtesy of Shane Rounce on Unsplash
Liz Granirer
Liz Granirer
Liz has been a journalist for many years. She is currently editor of EL Gazette and has previously edited the magazines Young Performer, StepForward and Accounting Technician; been deputy editor on Right Start magazine; chief sub editor on Country Homes & Interiors; and sub editor on easyJet Traveller, Lonely Planet and Family Traveller magazines, along with a number of others.
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