British export is booming and multilingual staff are as widely sought after by UK businesses, as they are in short supply across the nation. Job prospects are looking good for trained and qualified linguists.
As export booms, people with language proficiency are increasingly being sought after, in fact being headhunted for positions within all industries. Despite this, few Brits learn languages at schools and universities.
The Confederation of British Industry recently reported that the UK’s education system isn’t producing the amount of people with foreign-language skills that businesses increasingly need.
Proving their point, the CBI, one of the UK’s leading independent employers’ organisations, surveyed around 300 UK firms, of which nearly two-thirds said they preferred employees who speak more than one language.
28% of those asked said they thought that language skills would help to build relations with overseas contacts.
The languages listed as most useful were French, German and Spanish, reflecting the close business relationships UK businesses have with the rest of Europe.
‘With the EU still [being] our largest export market, it’s no surprise to see German, French and Spanish language skills so highly prized by companies,’ said CBI deputy director general Katja Hall.
However the report made clear that many businesses are looking further afield, too.
31% of those asked wanted employees who could communicate in Mandarin and 23% asked for Arabic speaking staff. Polish, Russian, Cantonese and Japanese were also highly sought after languages, requested by up to 20% of employers.
'With China and Latin America seeing solid growth, ambitious firms want the language skills that can smooth the path into new markets,’ said Hall.
Despite the high demand for language skills, there are too few potential employees who possess them; research showed 20% of schools in England had a persistently low take-up of languages and cuts to arts departments at universities are discouraging pupils from taking up language learning.
However, schools and universities are not the only routes to language qualifications.
Talking Heads Linguist Training offers a range of courses that can lead to obtaining the qualifications and the certificates needed. See our course options page to book on to one today. CLICK HERE.
Book a course today and see your job prospects flourish.