To start a new language or improve an existing one
To gain an insight into another culture
To develop your skills before travelling, studying or working abroad
To enhance your degree - undergraduate students can take a year-long LFA course for credit at no charge (subject to agreement from their department)
To get a competitive edge and improve your employability
Languages are used in every sector of the UK economy, and in the public and voluntary sectors as well as private enterprise. IT, Finance and Creative/Media/Marketing have been identified as particular industries where there is currently an above average or growing need for language skills.
Where are languages needed?
Having language skills is an advantage for gaining employment in:
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Language capability forms an important principle within the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s ‘excellence in diplomacy’ policy. Language competence is now what is internally designed as ‘operational level’ for diplomats.
Read more: Thebritishacademy.ac.uk/languages-state-nation Report 3.3, p.67
As part of the Airport’s commitment to customer service, staff helping passengers through security, or assisting with information to make sure people can find their way around, is required to have basic knowledge of at least one of the languages most commonly needed at the airport.
Read more: Thebritishacademy.ac.uk/languages-state-nation Report 3.5, p.76
Bosch UK Ltd
Up to a quarter of staff employed in the UK (mainly engineers and sales staff but also in HR and IT functions) require competence in German. Particular career paths within the company also require knowledge of French, Chinese and Malay. Bosch does not make language competency a requirement at the recruitment stage but the company recognises that those who have learnt German and other foreign languages are better-placed to pick up new languages or further their German.
Read more: Thebritishacademy.ac.uk/languages-state-nation Report 3.2, p.167
B&Q is part of the Kingfisher group; in order to maintain close working relationships with sister operating companies, they encourage staff to have language competency in French, German, Polish and Russian. Languages have not in the past figured in recruitment policies, although the company is starting to be more conscious of this now.
Read more: Thebritishacademy.ac.uk/languages-state-nation Report 3.1, p.78
The Metropolitan Police
in 2015 the Metropolitan Police announced that all new Met police constables must be able to speak one of the following languages: Yoruba (Nigeria), Hebrew, Arabic, Hindi, Punjabi, Italian, German, Turkish, Greek, Spanish, Polish, Portuguese, Sinhali (Sri Lanka), Bengali.
Read more here: all-new-met-police-constables-must-be-able-to-speak-a-second-language
Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ)
In addition to professional linguists, GCHQ recruits people with two common European languages (e.g. French and Spanish) to retrain in other languages, because they clearly have an aptitude for language learning. One European language is not enough - minimum two - but one of the languages on the ‘interested in’ list is enough.
Read more here: globalgraduates.com/gchq