In the annual CBI/Pearson Education and Skills Survey 2014 (to be published in full next month), nearly two-thirds of firms (65%) identified a need for foreign language skills, which is likely to increase as ambitious firms look to break into new fast-growing markets. With the UK’s push to rebalance to a trade and investment-led economy, better foreign language skills could be a major instrument in supporting this.
Many businesses find knowledge of a foreign language can be beneficial to their business (41%) and helpful in building relations with overseas contacts (28%). The foreign languages rated as useful include: French 50%; German 49%; Spanish 44%; Mandarin 31%; Arabic 23%; Polish 19%; Russian 18%; Cantonese 16%; Japanese 15%; Portuguese 11% (and other 16%).
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