Foreign Languages Boost Economy

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Speaking a foreign language improves job prospects and strengthens UK business, according to the Learning and Skills Development Agency (LSDA).

The national survey of trainers and teachers from work-based learning providers and educational organisations found widespread endorsement of learning additional languages as being a “valuable asset to the economy”.

Each year around 21,000 people enrol on courses with a foreign language as part of a vocational qualification, but this varies hugely depending on geographical location. Students in Yorkshire and Humberside are among the most likely to choose this option.

The report stressed the importance of languages in key sectors such as IT, business and tourism. Maggie Greenwood, LSDA Research Manager, said: “Being able to speak and understand different languages is increasingly important as British society becomes more multi cultural. But we need a stronger push to inspire people to learn and succeed.”

The skills body stressed the importance of convincing students that languages will improve their career prospects, along with creating partnerships between learning establishments and improving communication.

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