Breaking the Language Barrier in Engineering

| Industrial Sector News

Language skills could boost job potential for engineers

Survey reveals attitudes amongst UK employees towards the acquisition of foreign languages.

With globalisation at an all-time high and with the job market facing potential upheaval through political and economic disruption, one recruitment organisation in the UK is saying that languages are becoming increasingly important within the job market

Online recruitment agency, Top Language Jobs, has conducted a survey to gauge attitudes to foreign languages in a country long famous for being behind the rest of Europe in terms of multi-lingual skills.

According to the survey results, more than half of the population who speak more than one language say they use it actively in their job and now more people are opting to learn a second language as a way of getting ahead in their careers.

In this respect, older generations are in danger of being left behind as younger people are adapting more quickly. 18-24-year olds are the most likely to know more than one language (66%) compared to only a quarter of the 55-64s. They believe it positively impacts their career potential, with 74% of the 18-34s surveyed saying they actively use other languages in their careers (vs only 24% of 55-64s).

According to the survey respondents, the need for foreign languages will continue to grow with the majority saying they would actively encourage their children to learn another language.

The government reflects this sentiment and has the ambition to have 90% of British pupils sitting a GCSE in a language by 2025 and has allocated funding to set up a national language centre along with the creation of nine school hubs to raise standards of language teaching in secondary schools. The University of York has received government funding to build England’s first modern foreign languages (MFL) centre for excellence, worth £2.17m.

With multi-lingual Brits still being in a minority, there are opportunities for engineers to add language skills to their CVs to set them apart from others when entering the competition for jobs in industries that now span national boundaries more than ever before.

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