Date of Publication: 2013
Key messages on language skills:
- Effective communication with potential suppliers, customers and those regulating markets is an essential part of achieving an export-oriented economic recovery.
- The UK has the worst foreign language skills in Europe and, according to the Education & Employer Taskforce, this is acting in effect as a tax on UK trade. In all, 70% of businesses value foreign language skills in their employees. Fluency in another language helps in the conduct of business and can assist staff in their careers.
- The major European languages continue to be those most in demand, but language skills geared towards doing business in China feature increasingly prominently. Many British employers also value employees who understand the languages and cultures of the UK migrant workforce.