Chiltern Chamber team at Bucks Skills Show 2017Chiltern Chamber of Commerce and ChinaAcumen joined forces to create an exciting stand on the China Opportunity at the 2017 Bucks Skills Show.

Enjoy our galleries from Adams Park High Wycombe on Thursday 12th, and The Gateway Aylesbury on Saturday 14th October.

Visit our Chiltern Chamber Bucks Skills Show 2017 microsite, with show reports and galleries, and with resources to enable visitors to follow up on opportunities discussed at the shows.

Through our literature, one-on-one discussions and an interactive quiz, we sought to explain the remarkable resurgence of the Chinese economy, and its increasing influence over global and UK business. And how as these trends continue, career and business opportunities will abound for those willing to understand China and to learn Chinese.

How speaking Chinese could enhance career prospects:

Just a sample selection:

  • By working directly in China for an international business, or for a Chinese business operating abroad.
  • Or maybe working in or running a business that trades with China.
  • Many engineering businesses need Chinese speakers to support projects in China.
  • UK buyers are constantly on the road in China, sourcing products.
  • The market for Chinese tourists is the biggest tourism market globally.
  • In the service sector or the professions, Chinese may turn out to be a valuable tool for those working in law, finance, property or accountancy.
  • One theme shared by our experts, but also reiterated by several visitors to our stand, is the readily available opportunity to teach in China, both on a temporary (eg gap year) and permanent basis. And often that teaching experience can be the ‘foot in the door’ leading to other opportunities.

In short, by understanding China, and studying Chinese, students can take their career prospects to a different level.

By visiting our stand, students were able to:

  • LEARN about the massive and growing Chinese economy, and the opportunities it offers to those who engage with it.
  • CONSULT Chinese business experts Simon Stokes and Lucy Qian of ChinaAcumen.
  • MEET Chinese education experts and learn how they can get started with the language.
  • CHAT with recent Chinese students, about their experiences living and studying in China, why they embarked on their Chinese journey, how it has enriched their lives and shaped career choices.
  • HAVE FUN. Is learning Chinese really so difficult? Most popular was our interactive How Much Do You Know About China? quiz. Students also enjoyed interacting with our Chinese speakers, and taking part in some simple exercises, getting started with some Mandarin phrases.

Chris Webster, Programme Director of the Swire Chinese Language Centre, based in Oxford and Radley, gave an inspiring talk in the speaker zone. Among other opportunities, working in China enabled him to appear in front of a massive TV audience, on China’s Got Talent.

8.8% of visitors to the show played our interactive quiz on the Saturday, and 7.1% across the two days. With our other activities and Chris Webster’s talk, we may have reached around 10% of the show’s 1,700 visitors.


You can download the two flyers which we distributed at the show. Simply click the image to download:

Five Great Reasons to Study ChineseFive Great Reasons to Study Chinese
flyer for bucks skills showShow flyer: How understanding China, and Chinese language skills, can take your career prospects to a different level

Our Team

We assembled an outstanding team of Chinese experts and Chinese speakers. All were pleased to share their knowledge and experience.

Simon Stokes and Lucy Qian

Simon Stokes Director of ChinaAcumenLucy Qian Director of ChinaAcumen Simon and Lucy run ChinaAcumen, a business consultancy putting extensive on-the-ground Chinese business experience at the disposal of UK and international businesses looking to do business in and with China.

Chris Webster

Chris Webster at Bucks Skills Show 2017Chris is the Programme Director of the Swire Chinese Language Centre, based in Oxford and Radley. Chris is a Chinese language and culture specialist, experienced in the field of education. His aim is to promote and introduce Chinese language and culture to as many people as possible to inform them of the amazing opportunities that can be created through learning about this fascinating country, its language and people. These were the themes of Chris’s inspiring talk in the Speaker Zone.

Mai Sim Merry

Buckinghamshire-based chinese teacher Mai Sim MerryMai Sim is a teacher of Chinese in several schools in Buckinghamshire, and Secretary of the UK Federation of Chinese Schools (among many roles!).

Louis Carmichael

Louis Carmichael speaker at Bucks Skills Show 2017Louis is currently studying anthropology at Goldsmith’s College; he is an enthusiast for all things Chinese, was a finalist in the British Council National Mandarin Speaking Competition and had recently returned from teaching English in China at kindergarten, primary and secondary levels. See Louis in action: “Behind the scenes at Britain’s Mandarin Speaking Competition”.
See Louis’ presentation to the Bucks Skills Show, with many practical pointers based on his own experience of learning Chinese and working in China (PDF, 2MB).

Holly Holdsworth

holly holdsworth at buck skills show 2017Holly graduated from Edinburgh University in 2015, with an MA in Chinese Studies, and also including a year at Peking University. Holly is now making her career at HSBC.