A NORTHUMBERLAND education group is aiming to start Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) in the Far East.

Prudhoe-based education consultancy National Learning Group hopes to break into the TEFL market for adults by establishing services in Taiwan, before moving into the Chinese and European markets.

National Learning Group offers remote educational support and tutoring services for learners of all ages, delivered by a network of around 150 classroom experienced teachers and backed by its growing Prudhoe head office team.

Founder and Managing Director, Oliver Batten, says: "Our core business is continuing to perform well and we're now looking to build on our achievements so far in what is potentially a huge new market for us."

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"Our initial focus is on adult learners, with government workers and business people being a key focus, and we've brought in new staff who have the knowledge and experience of Far East markets required to get everything up and running quickly," he said.

National Learning Group worked with fund management firm, NEL Fund Managers, last year to bring investment from the North East Small Loan Fund. 

It used investment to enhance management systems, processes, infrastructure and website, as well driving recruitment.

It has gone back to NEL for an investment from the North East Growth Capital Fund to achieve its Far East expansion plans.

Since receiving the first NEL investment, National Learning Group has doubled its head office team to 16 people, with recruitment continuing for further North East sales and administration roles.

"We've developed a high-quality product that will be delivered by highly qualified and experienced tutors who have all had extra training from us to ensure they're delivering fully on what we promise our clients.

"Everything is now in place for our Far East launch and we're excited at the opportunities that we know lie ahead," Oliver said.

"It was always part of our strategy to go back to NEL for this additional capital and the investment team was really helpful in getting this latest deal done," he said.

Jane Siddle, Senior Investment Executive at NEL Fund Managers, said: "Having access to growth capital at successive stages of their development is essential if ambitious North East firms are going to be able to fulfil their potential and we've worked with many successful businesses on multiple occasions to enable them to do just that."

"National Learning Group has clear goals in sight for the latest stage of its growth strategy and all the resources it needs to reach them," she added.