The Association of International Banks and Trust Companies (AIBT) has recently founded a language school which will offer free language classes to staff of its member firms. Currently, thirty students are enrolled in beginners Spanish with classes being held on Mondays and Thursdays at the Offices of AIBT in the Goodman’s Bay Corporate Centre.

The language school is just one of a number of new initiatives designed to increase benefits to members whilst demonstrating the continuing investment of the international banking sector in The Bahamas. David Thain, AIBT Chairman, explains “AIBT always has had a strong focus on training and recognises the critical importance of demonstrating to international clients the availability of qualified persons within the local work force. Whilst the existing cadre of financial service professionals already displays an impressive array of relevant qualifications and experience, language skills have always been a challenge”.

The language classes currently focus on Spanish and it is hoped that the first intake of students will wish to continue their studies with AIBT, which will allow more advanced classes to be offered in the future. There is also nothing to stop AIBT offering other languages if there is sufficient demand. Mr Thain explains that whilst these first classes have been oversubscribed, AIBT is maintaining a waiting list for future classes and hopes that the strong initial support is an indication of the value of the initiative. He notes, however, that whilst classes are free for attendees, AIBT is meeting the full costs of the training exercise, which includes books and materials; as such there must be a limit to how many classes are held. AIBT is also engaged in a membership recruitment drive, however, and it is hoped that additional financial resources will allow the Association to increase these types of opportunities for local staff.

Photo Caption: *Some of the students attending the first class at the end of September. Standing are Lecturer Rosa Sweeting and David Thain, AIBT.*