The UK, like most parts of the advanced world, is multi-cultural and multi- lingual. Our booming economy and thriving employment market attracts people from all over the world and, whilst English is still the language most commonly spoken, the UK has a burgeoning job market for fluent speakers of other languages. In almost every London borough, 100 different languages are spoken.
Thus, learning a second language will undoubtedly boost your job prospects. A recent YouGov survey revealed that 58 per cent of adults believe that learning a second language would help their career, but fewer than one in four adults speak more than their native language.
At IN-Consultancy we specialise in hiring people for jobs that require language skills, in particular French, Spanish, German, Dutch, Arabic, Punjabi, Urdu and Hindi.
Top Industries Requiring Language Skills
There is quite a range of industries where multi-lingual skills are an advantage, some of which are obvious and some not so obvious. The biggest sector is in translating, interpreting and teaching. You could find yourself working with the police service, the NHS, local authorities or social services, to name just a few areas where translation services are needed.
The sales and customer service sectors need linguists to deal with customers who may not have English as a first language. Other industry sectors include recruitment, banking, marketing and advertising, I.T. and sales. In almost every industry in the UK today you will find a need for people who can speak other languages. Many companies look to young managers with language skills so that they can work efficiently in an international economy.
In schools or adult education, where English can be a second language for many pupils, you will need an ability to speak the language of the students in order to teach them English. Interpretation positions in the educational environment are available too.
The highest demand for foreign language speakers is concentrated in London and the south east however all parts of the UK, Scotland and Northern Ireland offer plenty of opportunities.
One thing that does need to be considered is what would happen if the UK left the EU. According to research carried out by the Migration Observatory at Oxford University for the Financial Times, 75 per cent of EU citizens that work in the United Kingdom wouldn’t meet the visa requirements for non-EU overseas workers in place at present. This would hit the financial service sector and hospitality industry hard, meaning there would be a huge loss of workers with the language skills our economy requires to flourish on an international scale.
Which Languages are Most in Demand?
In accordance with our closeness to our European partners German, French, Dutch and Swedish are highly in demand, closely followed by Danish, Spanish, Italian and Norwegian. Germany is the UK’s largest single export market outside America and many UK employers consider French to be useful for their purposes. In fact, according to a recent study by the Confederation of British Industry, French is the most useful language employers look for on CVs, with 53% of organisations ranking this is a useful language. German (36%), Spanish (27%), Mandarin (23%), Polish (20%), and Arabic (20%) follows this.
Anyone dealing with companies in the USA and Latin American countries will be highly valued for their ability to speak Spanish. Asian and Middle Eastern language speakers are also much needed. Investors from Arabic speaking countries have a considerable presence in the UK, for instance the Qatari company whose investment was responsible for The Shard.
With the rapid increase in globalisation has come a huge rise in multinational businesses and internet-based companies. With all that in mind, why not let us help you find your chosen career to get the best use of your hard-won language skills.
If you are hiring multi linguist speakers within Sales, Marketing or Business Support please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call her on 0203 488 1851