Client Stories

ArcelorMittal: Unlocking potential through English language learning

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ArcelorMittal has been working in partnership with us since 2015, providing over 12,000 language training courses across employees in 53 countries

As the largest steel manufacturer in the Americas, Europe, and Africa, ArcelorMittal is committed to producing cleaner, stronger and reusable steels, using innovative, efficient, and environmentally sustainable processes. A culture of innovation among its more than 190,000 employees worldwide is key to achieving this ambitious goal. We has provided a bespoke language training program for ArcelorMittal employees, resulting in wider and more inclusive access to information, training, and leadership development opportunities and benefits of efficient communication across the board.

"Our global English language program is the cornerstone for all our other learning and development program, as it brings diversity to our talent pipeline".

EVP Human Resources

Before working with us, low levels of English meant that the lack of a common language had become a barrier to development for both individuals and the business as a whole. Opportunities were lost due to a lack of collaboration, poor knowledge transfer and not enough global talent moving into leadership roles. A senior executive noticed that in one of the gatherings of the top 300 leaders, communication was made possible only with numerous interpreters and that this was a real barrier to share ideas, collaborate and generate business success. The need for language and intercultural communication training was critical.

Although this buy-in from the top provided the momentum, the “pain” was really felt at a local level, and the commitment of the local units have been key to the success of the language training programs. The company strongly believed in devolving decision-making power to local units and by leveraging a unique global framework regional ownership has enabled greater inclusivity in regions where many employees have never had the chance to learn a language before.

Key to the development of this global learning initiative was to design agreed outcomes that could be accurately measured and easily understood by a global audience. Together with ArcelorMittal we established an English Proficiency scale against which employees could be measured and individualized support put in place. Over 11,000 assessments have been carried out, mapping the workforce needs and enabling employees to join the right course. Depending on the priority level of a participant’s needs they were given a tailored course recommendation, in most cases centered around 6 months access to our agile online language school EF English Live Business, either self-study or including varying degrees of unlimited teacher time in small groups and private sessions.

Advanced digital functionality means that the platform is accessible 24/7 around the globe, including live trainer access on-demand, on a range of smart devices, in multiple languages. We worked closely together with ArcelorMittal to create custom online training modules for Steel & Mining industry, and also created bespoke classroom content for learners with urgent and specific needs, to make the course fully relevant and deliver rapid results in their desired area.

The partnership’s impact:

The project has succeeded in reaching thousands of employees and improving their English levels. The overall global all-time average progression shows employees have moved from A2 level to B1, which means thousands more people are now eligible for further development.

Proficiency in English has led to measurable competence improvements for employees. 93% of learners reported that they are more productive at work.

The data points not only to huge gains in English levels around the organization, but also marked improvements in inclusion and access to other further development programs. For example, the most recent cohort of leadership development participants was more diverse than ever before, with only 6% coming from a native English language background.

Training has been extended to the family members of the employees too, and the program is growing well past its initial scope.

With Hult EF, the overall English training costs have been reduced by over 75% vs. a previous provider, with better results and satisfaction ratings.

"Hult EF has a global reach and is one of the few players on the market who can consistently support our local units. They often travel to meet with key local HR people in our major plants. It feels like a local, tailor-made approach but one that also benefits from having a global contract and resources".

Vice President Resourcing, Leadership Development and Learning

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