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Employers 'looking for language skills'

Thursday 13 January 2011 by Gina Le Prevost

Businesses hunting for staff for roles such as European banking jobs may look more favourably on candidates who can demonstrate language skills, it has been claimed.

Teresa Tinley, director of planning, delivery and communications at the National Centre for Languages, said learning a new tongue demonstrates "international savvy" and a cultural awareness that would be valuable to employers.

In an increasingly globalised economy, she said ability with languages would "absolutely" help candidates stand out from the crowd.

She added that future entrants into the workforce may be better placed as teaching of these subjects at school level has seen a lot of activity in recent years.

However, Ms Tinley warned that "We must guard against languages being seen as an elitist subject which is of no relevance to lower performing pupils."

The expert was speaking in response to new figures from Ofsted that revealed fewer students are taking subjects such as French and German, but those who did are attaining higher grades.