The Value of Languages

27th May 2016

A recent report published by Cambridge University, entitled The Value of Languages, has urged the UK Government to adopt a new, comprehensive, language strategy if it is to keep pace with its international competitors and reduce a skills deficit that effects the country’s economic, political, and military capabilities.

The five major concerns highlighted by the report are :-

  • Business lost to UK companies through lack of language skills
  • Gaps in detecting incidence and spread of disease outbreaks and other health and security threats
  • Loss of language departments and degree courses in UK higher education
  • Lack of native English speakers in the translating and interpreting departments of EU and UN
  • Inadequate language services in Courts and healthcare services

With respect to business, the first goal given in the report is that “UK businesses are able to participate fully in the global market place using the language and communication skills of their workforce”. This aim would allow the UK to catch up with its European counterparts, where a large proportion of the workforce is fluent in two or more languages. The advantages this brings are obvious when it comes to working globally, as clear communication is a key factor when establishing new partnerships.

One of the short term solutions for UK companies is to hire new employees that have these language skills. The international recruitment market provides a wealth of talent that can enable a company to build overseas relationships at a rapid pace. However, small to medium size companies may not have the capital resources to take on new members of staff. And, even if the report’s recommendations are implemented today, it will be a number of years before new language students rise through education levels and enter the workforce. So what can a company do in the meantime?

The importance of language skills in the workplace has been highlighted by leading academic reports as well as thought leaders in the business community, and so now is the perfect time to outsource your requirements to a professional language company. By working with Foreign Tongues your company gains access to global markets at a fraction of the cost of employing in-house linguists. More importantly, your company has immediate access to dedicated linguists,
specialising in your company’s market specific sector, allowing you to ‘go international’ now, rather than wait for the rest of the UK to catch up.

Let Foreign Tongues provide you with a free, no-obligation, quote for your next project and see how much we will help you save – in more ways than one!

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