A quarter of organisations in the UK have lost out on business because their staff cannot speak a foreign language.
This is according to research by publisher ‘Teach Yourself Business Languages’ series. In good news for candidates who can speak more than one language, 28 per cent of employers said they would be willing to pay more for their skills.
Sarah Carroll, author of the Teach Yourself Business Languages series, said: “China is one of the fastest growing global markets and the demand for UK Mandarin Chinese speakers is increasing. Mandarin Chinese is quickly becoming one of the most useful languages to know in business and Spanish may well end up rivaling English as a global business language in the Americas by 2050. Businesses need to be aware of this and invest in foreign language speakers so they are able to compete in the global market.”
Manufacturing businesses (16 per cent) and catering and leisure sectors (16 per cent) are most in need of workers with foreign language skills, according to the report.
The independent research conducted by Gfk NOP reveals that insufficient language skills in the workplace has meant that 17 per cent of companies have not been able to pitch for business globally.
The survey of over 500 UK companies also found that 10 per cent of companies incurred costs having documents translated.