Worldteachers were recently featured in the latest Times Business Insight. For a look into how we operate overseas read the full article, below, also featured on the Scottish Enterprise website.
Renfrewshire based Worldteachers, which recruits for schools internationally, sources people for educational establishments in the Gulf Co-operation States (GCC): Qatar, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Oman, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.
Established in 2009 as founder and CEO Roddy Hammond responded to increasing demand for teachers in international schools in the Middle East, the company has visited all the GCC countries to pursue growth.
“To date, we have placed more teachers in Qatar than any other country and this has given us a foothold in the region,” Hammond said.
Logistics are not an issue. “It is easy to visit two or three of the countries at a time and through follow-up visits,” he said. There are direct flights from Glasgow to Dubai and, now, Edinburgh to Doha, Qatar.
Roddy Hammond, CEO and founder of Worldteachers
Roddy Hammond, founder and CEO of Worldteachers
Four years on, Worldteachers has established preferred supplier status with Abu Dhabi’s specialist government schools as well as groups of international schools in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.
“Significant money is being invested in the whole education sector in the region and this presents fantastic opportunities for Scottish education suppliers,” Hammond said.
“We will continue to visit each country and look to penetrate the market. Strong relationships have been established following second and third meetings and delivering a good service. We are extending the way we deliver our service by organising education recruitment fairs in different locations.”
The company meanwhile continues to invest in its digital marketing to widen its reach to its teacher candidate base and school contacts.
“Almost all of our turnover is from overseas”
Hammond said. “There are international schools all around the world and the market is growing at a fast rate. There are more than 6,000 international schools around the world and this is forecast to increase to more than 10,000 in the next 5 years.”
Worldteachers has “fully engaged” with support from Scottish Development International (SDI) and UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) and has benefited from our Smart Exporter Preparing to Export programme, Hammond said. It has participated in four trade missions to the Middle East and attended other UKTI supported events in the education sector.
“We have had financial support through grants to contribute to the cost of hiring an export manager as well as travel and accommodation subsidies for visiting new markets. There are also various networking opportunities to learn from other Scottish companies exporting in the education and other sectors.”
Worldteachers is an associate member of international school networks around the world, allowing it to connect with senior decision makers in various regions.
“We mostly deal with international schools, which are effectively a big mixture of privately run companies and therefore relatively easy to transact with, particularly if you are supplying a service,” Hammond said.
Less established companies just launching out into the commercial arena are also finding routes to market through Middle East domestic and regional investment in life sciences and health.