Lack of language skills keep Brits out of top jobs

Less
than one in 10 Britons can speak a foreign language at even a basic level
despite a sharp rise in employers asking for people who have language skills
over the past five years, according to research by recruitment company Office
Angels.

A
survey of 1,500 office workers reveals how the UK’s lack of language skills is
impacting on  career prospects, with
more than half (53 per cent) of employers claiming a second language is the
‘make or break’ factor in hiring a new recruit.

One
in five employers said foreign language skills were increasingly important to
their business.

Paul
Jacobs, managing director of Office Angels, said: “We are increasingly finding
that even people with a second language at a basic level have better prospects
in some industries working at home and abroad than those without.

However,
eight out of 10n office workers still think they can get by at work without
speaking a language because ‘everyone speaks English’.

More
than nine out of 10 (91 per cent) foreign language speakers say their skills
provide career opportunities other colleagues have missed out on, such as
travelling, working abroad and attending international meetings.

By Michael Millar

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