Case Study: EDF Trading

Linguistic and Cultural Training programme for Employees Relocating to Japan

EDF Trading (EDFT) is a major broker in energy trading and has been active in the international wholesale markets since 1999. The company buys and sells electricity, emissions, gas, coal, freight, biomass and oil.

Cactus Language Training was approached by energy giant EDF Trading to develop a linguistic and cultural training programme for employees relocating to Japan, alongside multi-lingual training for its European traders.

Why did EDF choose Cactus Language Training?

Dealing in the international energy and money markets, EDFT has complex and ever-changing business language training needs. Its operations span a variety of different countries and employees need to negotiate deals in other languages, as well as understand cultural differences that impact the business.

Knowledge of the language and the culture goes hand-in-hand when negotiating large business deals and the company requires a number of its senior employees to speak and understand Japanese to help progress these major energy deals with companies based in Nagoya.

To fulfill this requirement several members of staff have been relocated to Japan and have needed both Japanese lessons and cultural training to prepare them for their new roles. In addition, EDFT’s European traders have required in-company classes in a number of languages to help them in negotiating deals on the company’s trading desks. Cactus was chosen due to a proven track record and expertise not only in corporate language training but also cross-cultural training. Cactus was one of the few companies that was able to cover the scope and range of the requirement with the necessary flexibility requested by the client.

How was the training delivered?

By conducting a detailed needs analysis of EDFT’s language skills, Cactus was able to devise tailor-made solutions to tackle the company’s broad training needs. For the employees moving to Nagoya, Cactus developed a bespoke course to help them adapt to relocation and their new social surroundings. The focus was placed on learning conversational techniques and general business etiquette to smooth working relationships.

For its traders, Cactus designed one-to-one language training sessions in German, Russian, French, English and Spanish to help them conduct deals confidently with their European counterparts. Vocabulary was specifically tailored in each language to real-life trading situations, enabling employees to get to grips with speaking and being easily understood. Lessons all took place in EDFT’s London offices.

How has Cactus Language Training benefited the company?

Cactus has provided inspiring and enjoyable business language training which has had dramatic benefits. We have been able to develop major new contracts with Japanese energy companies and continue to build valuable relationships. Our traders are also confident that they can communicate in a number of languages. It’s proved to be invaluable. Rebecca French, Head of HR at EDFT

Would you recommend Cactus to other companies for Language Training?

“We would recommend Cactus to any other company for their corporate language training and cross-cultural training needs, especially those, like ours, with a wide range of specific and complex needs – Cactus has delivered for us on all fronts”.

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