Britain has officially invited South Korea delegates to attend the G7 meeting as a guest at the conference, in Carbis Bay, this year.

Hotel workers in Cornwall to get specialist training to ensure a warm welcome for G7 Korean delegates

Hotel workers in Cornwall will receive specialist training to ensure South Korean delegates at the G7 conference receive a warm welcome.

Hospitality staff will be given guidance on how best to greet attendees as part of a new course, where they will learn about the Korean language, culture and geopolitics.

Britain has officially invited South Korea delegates to attend the G7 meeting as a guest at the conference, in Carbis Bay, this year.

The online training will be for around ten workers and will take place over five hours, during three sessions in April and May run by Dr Sun Young Yang, from the University of Exeter. It will ensure hotel workers use the most polite language, and give them an awareness of how South Korea is different to other Asian countries.  

The training is being coordinated by Truro and Penwith College through a new partnership with the University of Exeter’s Language Centre and the College’s ESF part-funded Hospitality Table Cornwall (HTC), Employer Led Skills and RISE projects.

K pop and popular films have led to growing interest in Korean culture in the UK, but the language can be hard to learn because of its tricky grammatical structure and different word order – with the verb or adjective coming at the end of the sentence.

Dr Yang said: “I hope the training will ensure a warm welcome for delegates from South Korea. I’m going to start by working with the staff to find out what they’d like to know. It would be lovely if by the end they were able to greet people and say a few simple phrases in Korean. There are lots of different ways to say hello and thank you in Korean, but if you end up using a mobile phone to translate you might not end up using the most polite phrase.

“People in Korea know about, and are impressed by, British history, democracy and the beautiful landscape. Recently they’ve been receiving the coronavirus vaccine developed in Oxford. I think people in Britain know about Korea through the war, and of course the association with North Korea, which is a completely separate country. Coronavirus has meant there is interest in the effective measures in Korea to tackle the spread of the virus.

“I hope to show the importance of kindness and hospitality in Korean culture, and how friendly the country is.”

Dr Yang was born in Busan, Korea’s second city, but grew up in Seoul. She is an expert in Japanese history and has taught Korean in the UK, after she moved here when she met her husband.

Language and culture specialists from the College and the University of Exeter have been working with a focus group of hospitality businesses and G7 hosts to design five new courses that are tailored to the needs of those welcoming world leaders and their teams in June. There will also be courses for hospitality workers who will be supporting delegates from Italy, Germany, Japan and France.

The College has matched funding provided by the European Social Fund to offer businesses the free training, highlighting its support for a sector that has endured a torrid 12-months in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Andy Stittle, Director of Partnerships at the College commented: “The College is pleased to fully-fund this training, with the help of the European Social Fund to enhance its support to Cornwall’s Hospitality and Tourism sector.

“We are grateful for the input of our colleagues at the University of Exeter and our employer partners and are confident this training will put businesses in the strongest possible position to take advantage of this unique influx of international guests.

“I’m sure the training will also inspire participants to explore language learning further, while helping them feel connected to what is a once-in-a-generation event for Cornwall.”

The College has been recruiting for the courses over the last few weeks, with the training available to any business hosting delegates for the G7 summit. Booking are now closed, however, if you have any questions or queries, please contact the College on 01872 305500 or hospitalitytablecornwall@truro-pewith.ac.uk.

Date: 15 April 2021

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