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Foreign language skills essential for exporting…

Submitted by on April 7, 2014 – 7:00 am |

Geoffrey Bowden,- Association of Translation CompaniesCommenting on Vince Cable’s call for UK businesses to take responsibility for making the economic recovery sustainable by increasing overseas trade, Geoffrey Bowden, General Secretary of the Association of Translation Companies said:

“The Business Secretary’s comments are slightly at odds with the Chancellor last week when he announced that the government needed, and intended, to do more to support businesses in opening up foreign markets. There is a danger that UK companies will still not take the steps required to develop the language skills they need to succeed in foreign markets. For example, a recent CBI report on ‘business priorities for education and skills’ found that only four per cent of employers note foreign language capability as the most important factor when considering recruiting graduates. Similarly, only one in five see foreign language ability as helpful in building relationships with overseas suppliers.”

“It is imperative that instead of widely relying on the organisation they are doing business with speaking the English language, they make more of an effort to liaise in other languages.”

“Foreign language skills are essential in increasing exports and building the UK’s economy and those currently in possession of these skills will find their services in high demand from businesses realising the potential. As organisations venture into export markets, demand for language services will increase and it is important that these businesses invest appropriately and with the right provider for them. As knowledge of languages is so poor amongst many UK businesses, support from the government in developing language strategies as part of an export programme is indispensable.”

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