SCILT, Scotland’s National Centre for Languages, is working with businesses and schools in Scotland to promote languages as a key skill for employment.
Operating effectively in a global economy relies on many skills and includes the right language skills. People who can communicate, at least conversationally, can make all the difference in the conduct of business, consolidating relationships with existing suppliers and customers and opening the way to new overseas contacts. When combined with STEM skills, the career opportunities in a vast array of sectors widens.
Key facts from the CBI Education and Skills Survey 2013
Seven out of ten (70%) businesses value foreign language skills among their employees
- French(49%) and German(45%) are the leading languages in demand, but those geared to businesses in China feature increasingly prominently – of those valuing staff with foreign language skills, 28% value Manderin and 16% Cantonese
- STEM skills are in high demand and nearly two in five firms (39%) are having difficulties recruiting staff. 41% expect this to persist over the next three years
- Shortages of STEM qualified technicians (29%) and graduates (26%) are widespread among firms in engineering, hi-tech/IT and science areas
- Businesses recognise that they have a key role in encouraging more young people to study STEM subjects, enthusing young people about STEM (55%) and working with Universities to ensure the business relevance of the course (50%).
Read about people who have combined their STEM and language skills in the pharmaceutical industry, technologies and the Scottish Football Association and find out why they consider that learning a language is really important.