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Employers value language skills

As is becomes increasingly important for firms to compete on a global scale, employers are placing more and more value on those who can offer an additional language.

  • 49% of employers are dissatisfied with school leavers’ language skills (Council for Industry and Higher Education)
  • 36% of employers recruit people with languages (CBI, 2009)
  • 95% of London employers think that language skills are important for the London economy (CBI London)


Employers are increasingly forced to recruit overseas to meet the need for language skills. Labour market research can demonstrate this skills gap:

LMI Translation and Interpreting (pdf, 319KB)

LMI Languages and Intercultural Skills (pdf, 933KB)

Language skills are needed at all levels

  • It is not just high fliers in international business who need language skills
  • There is increasing demand for language skills in jobs involving all kinds of customer service
  • The UK has a shortage of people who can combine language skills with other specialisms
  • There is also a shortage of specialist linguists with English as a first language


For further information on how languages add value to all career pathways, see

  • Primary Languages
  • Languages Work
  • lingu@net europa
  • Languages ICT
  • Vocational Languages Resource Bank
  • Our Languages