UK businesses demanding more staff with foreign language skills

NEARLY two-thirds of UK businesses (65 per cent) say they have a need for more workers who can speak foreign languages proficiently, according to a report from the CBI.

The top three languages identified by businesses surveyed as being most beneficial were French first, with 50 per cent, followed closely by German in second with 49 per cent, while Spanish came third with 44 per cent. However, with Mandarin coming in fourth with 31 per cent and Arabic in fifth with 23 per cent, and Spanish having wider usage across much of Latin America, the growing importance of language skills for emerging markets was clear.

The results come from the annual CBI/Pearson Education and Skills Survey for 2014.