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Interview with Raquel Hidalgo, Head of Training at Ferrovial Agroman

“We want to develop customized programs with a real impact on business”

What is the philosophy behind Ferrovial’s language training policy?

Raquel Hidalgo (R.H.): As a member of the Ferrovial Group, we follow a specific plan, aimed mainly at the technical aspects of the business. Through SUMMA University, the Group provides corporate training following a common strategy of talent development, while fostering the relationship among employees. Our goal is to offer training solutions that meet our employees’ needs, whilst keeping in mind the Group’s strategic vision. Language training is very in demand among our staff, since it allows us to face the new challenges posed by internationalization.

How many Ferrovial employees are learning languages? What is their profile?

R.H.: We are currently offering language training to around 700 people, with very different profiles. We invest more resources in those employees who have regular contact with offices in other countries due to their involvement in international projects, and also in those who show potential for future positions abroad with Ferrovial.

How do you think your employees value the training program?

R.H.: Our efforts are mainly addressed at offering training that is more and more relevant to their work, allowing them to improve their performance. We are not interested in standardized training; we want to develop customized programs with a real impact on business. Language training is a great motivator, and more and more people request access to these programs, even when they have no short-term use for the language professionally.

How long have you been working with Training Express?

R.H.: Since 2006, mainly through telephone-training programs in English and face-to-face courses.

Language training is a great motivator, and more and more people request access to these programs, even when they have no short-term use for them professionally.

What is your opinion of the training and services offered by Training Express?

R.H.: Very positive. More and more employees are requesting Telephone Training, not only because of its flexibility, but also because it adapts completely to each student’s interests and needs.

What do you think of the platform? What advantages does it offer?

R.H.: It’s a great way to complement the classes. It provides continuity between telephone sessions, reinforcing grammar. Students know that, if they want to improve their skills, they must be consistent and use the supplementary resources available on the platform.

What results are you getting?

R.H.: Very satisfactory. The participation rate is very high in this type of program, with a practically nonexistent drop-out rate.

How does language training contribute to progress in a company like Ferrovial?

R.H.: As I mentioned before, due to the nature of our growth and internationalization policy, we need professionals who are fluent in other languages. We believe that the key to the future lies in generating an internal culture of training in other languages, accessible to everyone in the company.

Source: “Link”, special issue on languages in cooperation with “Equipos y Talento”, issue number 2, 2011