Lack of Language Skills in Britain is Bad for Business

The chronic shortage of people learning foreign languages in the UK could eventually lead to Britain losing its voice in business and diplomacy in later years. French and German are just two of the subjects at UK schools considered to be in ‘rapid decline’ due to the numbers of students learning these subjects decreasing year on year.

Some blame the decrease on the last Labour government which made studying languages at GCSE level not compulsory. Making these subjects optional has had a real impact on the number of students learning them. The rapid decline in language learning in this country could have a much worse impact in the future (if not already) particularly in the business sector. Understanding the culture and language of countries that we trade with helps to create open relationships with foreign businesses and ultimately, create more sales in the long term.

John Wastnage, the head of employment and skills at the British Chambers of Commerce says “It is true that English is an international business language, but knowing your client or supplier’s language will help open the initial door and open cultural understanding.”

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