A TRAINING business created to teach specialised English language courses to a corporate audience is celebrating its 40th anniversary.

SLS York, based in Clifton Moor, was founded in 1975 by Hugh and Chris Steadman who wanted to offer English language training to overseas corporate and professional personnel, to enable them to perform their jobs more effectively in the global business world.

Initially training took place in York, with the company then sending teaching staff overseas to work on contracts Sweden, Denmark and Germany in Europe, Libya, Cameroon and Angola in Africa, and Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Abu Dhabi in the Middle East.

Following a growing demand for services, SLS opening its general English language school “English in York” in Coney Street, and later launched a third division of the company called Partners in Training for management training consultancy.

Across the three divisions SLS now has a core body of 15 to 25 members of full time staff, with a further 20 to 25 freelance teachers.

Managing director Richard Hawker said: "Despite the recent worldwide economic problems the company has continued to thrive.

"This is very much due to the eclectic nature of our business, offering a broad array of training services to a diverse portfolio of clients located all over the world.

"We have seen many new competitors come into the training market but very few can match our longevity and track record, and the fact that we are still trading after 40 years is a testament to the outstanding services and innovative ideas we have provided during this period.

"For a relatively small York based company to be consistently dealing with individuals and major corporate clients from all over the word for such a sustained length of time is a considerable achievement."