Lack of Language Skills

Lack of language skills costs British firms £21 billion

  • 17 December, 2014

Research conducted by Cardiff University has revealed that UK businesses miss out on £21 billion annually in lost contracts as a result of poor foreign languages skills. An earlier study also revealed that the demand for non-English language skills in large European companies is greater than the demand for English.

SMEs investing in a language strategy, appointing native speakers, recruiting staff with language skills and using professionally qualified translators, were calculated to achieve an export sales proportion 44.5% higher than those without these investments.

The study also found that, while English might be used for initial market entry, the overall picture varies geographically and is much for complex; for example, French is widely used in trade negotiations throughout Africa, with Spanish being used in South America.

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