Article Details

Article Details

Scotland's Future Workforce - “Keeping Pace in the Global Skills Race?”

Author: British Council / SCDI
Date of Publication: June 2014

Key messages on language skills:

  • Language skills were cited by young people as one of the top barriers to working and studying abroad.
  • 28% of employers agree or strongly agree that an ability to speak at least one other language is important to the employment opportunities of young people. 45% of young people share this view.
  • 80% of young people said they had learnt a language to a level where a simple conversation could be held.
  • While young people felt that they were given the opportunity to acquire some language skills at school, many believe that languages could be taught in different ways and that this would both improve standards and encourage more people to learn foreign languages.

Quotes from business on language skills:

  • 'We need young people to understand a globalised marketplace and then develop the language skills because if they are interested and realise the inner value, this will drive them forward.' CEO, Oil and Gas Industry
  • 'Scottish businesses are not placing enough emphasis on the benefits of language skills in the workplace [...] As a manufacturer, we are competing with multi-lingual German and Italian engineers and until we, as a nation, are on an equal footing in regard to engineering and language skills, Scotland will rarely be first choice.' MD, Manufacturing Business


Posted in: Business Case
University of Strathclyde Education Scotland British Council Scotland The Scottish Government
SCILT - Scotlands National centre for Languages