【英语财经】多数英国企业希望招聘会外语的员工 Foreign languages in demand by UK businesses

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2014-6-24 06:53

小艾摘要: Nearly two-thirds of businesses in the UK want to recruit staff with foreign language skills. French is still the most highly prized language, but Spanish and Mandarin speakers are more in demand than ...
Foreign languages in demand by UK businesses
Nearly two-thirds of businesses in the UK want to recruit staff with foreign language skills. French is still the most highly prized language, but Spanish and Mandarin speakers are more in demand than in the past.

Katja Hall, CBI deputy director-general, said that, given the EU was the UK’s largest export market, it was no surprise to see European languages so highly valued.

“But with China and Latin America seeing solid growth, ambitious firms want the language skills that can smooth the path into new markets,” she said.

The 2014 annual education and skills survey by the CBI and Pearson, the educational publisher that owns the Financial Times, found that 41 per cent of the 291 companies surveyed across the UK believed knowledge of a foreign language was beneficial to their business. European languages – French, German and Spanish – still topped the list in terms of desirability, but these were closely followed by Mandarin and Arabic.

Ms Hall said it was unclear whether recent government initiatives to encourage language learning in schools would have any impact.

“It has been a worry to see foreign language study in our schools under pressure with one in five schools having a persistently low take-up of languages,” she said.

“Young people considering their future subject choices should be made more aware of the benefits to their careers that can come from studying a foreign language.”

The number of students studying foreign languages has slumped in the past decade.

In January, the UK Commission for Employment and Skills said the number of “skills shortage vacancies” – where businesses cannot find recruits with the right qualifications and experience – had risen from 16 per cent of all vacancies in 2009 to 22 per cent in 2013.

Two years ago, a quarter of businesses surveyed by the CBI said that having staff who spoke Mandarin was useful for them. In 2014 this had risen to 31 per cent.

The sharpest increase in demand was for Portuguese, spoken in World Cup host Brazil, with 11 per cent of businesses rating the language as useful, a near-doubling from 2012. Over a third of the businesses surveyed, however, said they had no need for foreign language skills.

“English is the international language of business, but as a global company we understand that a company with employees who can communicate with some proficiency in the language of clients, customers and suppliers, has a big advantage in the fast-growing markets across the globe,” said Mark Anderson, managing director of Pearson UK.

The full results of the survey will be released next month.

近三分之二的英国企业希望招聘有外语技能的员工。法语仍是最受企业重视的外语,但与过去相比,企业对说西班牙语和汉语普通话的人才的需求有所上升。

英国工商业联合会(CBI)副总干事卡特娅?霍尔(Katja Hall)表示,鉴于欧盟(EU)是英国的最大出口市场,英国企业高度重视欧洲语言并不出人意料。

“不过,考虑到中国和拉美市场正呈现稳步增长,拥有远大抱负的企业希望招聘那些拥有相应语言技能的人才,为进入这些新市场铺平道路,”霍尔表示。

CBI和旗下拥有英国《金融时报》的培生集团(Pearson)在2014年进行的年度教育与技能调查发现,英国各地受访的291家公司中,41%认为外语技能有利于它们的生意。欧洲语言——法语、德语和西班牙语——仍在企业想要的外语技能排行榜上高居榜首,但紧随其后的就是汉语普通话和阿拉伯语。

霍尔表示,尚不清楚政府最近出台的鼓励学校开展语言教育的举措是否会有效果。

她说:“令人担忧的是,我们学校中的外语学习近来承受压力,每5所学校中,就有1所存在外语学习者人数持续下降的现象。”

“应该让年轻人在考虑未来的科目选择时,进一步意识到学外语对其职业生涯的益处。”

学习外语的学生数量在过去十年间大幅下降。

今年1月,英国就业与技能委员会(Commission for Employment and Skills)表示,“技能短缺导致的职位空缺”占所有职位空缺的比例,从2009年的16%升至2013年的22%。“技能短缺导致的职位空缺”是指企业无法找到拥有合适资历和经验的应聘者。

两年前,在接受CBI调查的企业中有四分之一表示,会说汉语普通话的员工能给它们带来帮助。2014年,这一比例升至31%。

英国企业的葡萄牙语(世界杯(World Cup)主办国巴西即是葡语国家)人才需求增长最为迅速,受访企业中有11%表示葡语技能对它们有帮助,这一比例较2012年上升了近一倍。不过,受访企业中有三分之一表示,它们根本不需要有外语技能的员工。

培生英国(Pearson UK)董事总经理马克?安德森(Mark Anderson)表示:“英语是国际商业语言,但作为一家全球公司,我们明白,如果一家公司的员工能用客户、顾客和供应商讲的语言与对方较为熟练的交流,那它就会在全球快速增长的市场上拥有巨大的优势。”

此次调查的全部结果将于下月发布。

译者/邹策

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