Careers


Careers

Graduate jobs: top 12 degree subjects for getting a job

12 May 2017 (The Telegraph)

Competition for graduate jobs has never been more fierce. With tuition fees and living costs representing financial sacrifices for many, students reasonably demand degree courses that offer them the best value for money in today's tough jobs market.

Languages feature in the list of the top 12 degree subjects.

Read more...

Online course: How to succeed in the global workplace

11 May 2017 (British Council)

Beginning your career or starting a new job brings to mind lots of questions, so we’ve designed a course to guide you through those initial weeks and months so you can make a positive start to your career.

You’ll see videos from employers, giving you insights from around the world into what they look for from their employees. You’ll learn how to communicate across cultures and discover the skills to build and maintain relationships with colleagues, managers and clients.

This is a free 4-week course and is hosted online by FutureLearn.

Read more...

New job profile on SCILT's website

28 April 2017 (SCILT)

The job profiles on our website cover a range of professions where languages are being used.

Our latest addition comes from Charlie Foot, founder of Bili, the online language exchange platform for schools. Charlie explains how speaking to people in their own language creates opportunities for much deeper connections and cultural understanding.

Teachers use our profiles in the classroom to enhance learning about the world of work and how language skills can play a part.

Read more...

Business Brunch 2017 events webpage now live!

25 April 2017 (SCILT)

A series of five successful Business Brunch events organised by SCILT, Scotland’s National Centre for Languages in partnership with the University Council for Modern Languages Scotland took place this year where 535 learners from S3-S6 were given the opportunity to hear from a wide range of exciting business leaders who view language skills as key to the growth and success of their company.

The events demonstrated the relevance of language skills in a work context and aimed to encourage pupils to continue with their language studies into the senior phase of their secondary education, and beyond school.

Find out more about the events on our new Business Brunch 2017 webpage.

Read more...

Linking languages to learning about the world of work

25 April 2017 (Skills Development Scotland)

Lesson inserts are a really simple way of linking learning to careers using resources found on My World of Work.

The importance of linking learning to the world of work is highlighted in the Curriculum for Excellence – in both the principles of curriculum design and the entitlements. It is further reinforced in Developing the Young Workforce and the Careers Education Standard.

To support teachers in making these links explicit, Skills Development Scotland has worked with secondary school teachers across Scotland to develop lesson inserts.

Lesson inserts are short activities which link subject content to relevant labour market information, job profiles and videos on My World of Work.

For languages, lesson inserts are available for:

  • BGE – Modern Languages job research
  • BGE – Modern Languages job market
  • National 4/5/Higher – Global citizenship
  • BGE – Gaelic (learners)

To access the lesson inserts, teachers need to register on My World of Work as a partner. To do this, check the partner tickbox when registering. Once registered as a partner, the lesson inserts can be accessed.

My World of Work has job profiles, real people stories and videos that you can insert into your lesson as a short reference to answer that question that many young people ask “Why are we doing this?”. It will remind them that what they learn today will help prepare them in choosing and following a career path in the future.

To give you an overview of what they are and how they can help you make a connection between school subjects and the wider world of work, have a look at this recent blog post from Skills Development Scotland.

New job profile on the SCILT website

21 April 2017 (SCILT)

We have a selection of job profiles on our website demonstrating languages being used in a wide range of professions.

Our latest addition comes from David Rodger, Area Manager at Amazon Germany. He tells how people engage with you and realise you're on their side if you demonstrate the willingness to understand their language and culture.

Teachers use our profiles in the classroom to enhance learning about the world of work and how language skills can play a part.

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Biscuits galore!

20 April 2017 (CISS)

For some S2 pupils from Elgin Academy, the term began with a busy and exciting visit to Walkers Shortbread HQ in Aberlour, Moray.

The pupils have been studying Mandarin since January with the support of the Hanban teacher Sufang Wang and under the guidance of Jerome Lestienne, PT of Modern Languages. The pupils presented to members of the International team from Walkers and the HR team. The presentations reflected what they had learnt so far, which included simple greetings, some numbers (and how to express numbers with hand gestures) and explanations of what is peculiar to the Chinese language such as learning tones, characters, etc.

The presentations also incorporated advice on effective “dos and don’ts” of Chinese Business Etiquette. These were well received by the International Team, who later explained they are increasingly doing business with China. It is now one of the top ten countries with whom they deal and in the near future will be opening an office in Shanghai.

Pupils were judged on presentation skills, clarity of delivery, content, structure and language skills. (The latter were judged by members from CISS and the Hanban teacher.) The winning group were generously rewarded with a prize and all pupils left with a goodie bag.

Pupils were asked questions by the team regarding how they found learning Chinese. They replied they had found it interesting and were grateful to have the chance to learn some Chinese whilst at school.

The Director of the International Team thanked them for the useful and stimulating presentations. He highlighted the fact that future employees with such knowledge would be most welcome for the company to employ.
Walkers' staff enjoying the presentationElgin Academy pupils presenting

Prepare British children for life after Brexit – teach them another language

10 April 2017 (The Conversation)

The formal negotiations to untangle the UK from the intricacies of the European Union are now well underway. And it is clear that looking forward, Britain’s new relationship with the EU will necessitate conducting trade and political communications in a new dynamic – one which is unlikely to be done in the medium of English.

When the UK leaves the EU there will be no member state remaining where English is the lead official language. “Ah”, you say, “what about Ireland, they speak English there”. Yes they do, but in Ireland, Irish Gaelic is considered the first official language.

So to trade with the EU, the UK will need high-level negotiators fluent in German, French and Spanish, which it currently does not have.

Additionally, leaving the EU will result in a restriction of immigrants from across EU member states. The need for visas will drastically reduce the number of workers who can come to the UK to fill jobs British people are either unwilling or unable to do.

And recognising this gap, the Foreign and Common Wealth office and the Ministry of Defence have opened in-house training centres to provide lessons in up to 80 different languages for their staff.

Read more...

Why Britain's monolingualism could be costly for the nation

5 April 2017 (World Economic Forum)

As the UK prepares to leave the EU, it has a huge number of considerations to ensure its economy prospers. One, which is perhaps overlooked, is Britain’s language policy and how important this is as an economic resource. A strategic language policy and the cultivation of language experts in post-Brexit Britain are essential if it wants to connect with fresh markets overseas.

This has long been a feature of international diplomacy – stretching back long before globalisation as we know it. All the big powers of the Old World depended on understanding other people’s languages to trade across cultures. A “modern” solution was found in Babylonia, an ancient commercial metropolitan hub in the Near East, where a polyglot community of traders came together from the Mediterranean, Persia and Turkey, and beyond.

There are accounts of King Hammurabi deftly exploiting his city’s growing cultural mix as a resource in the 1790s BC. He used bilingual foreign traders as cross-cultural brokers. With their language skills, they played a key role in facilitating long-range trade with distant markets.

One of the biggest challenges facing the UK economy now is a skills shortage. Although funding is promised to support technical skills training, UK business also requires professionals with language skills to achieve sales in fresh markets. These experts will need to speak the languages of trading partners and understand the cultures of new overseas contacts to negotiate and seal deals. Investment in this crucial soft skill is needed.

Read more...

New job profile on the SCILT website

31 March 2017 (SCILT)

We have a selection of job profiles on our website demonstrating languages being used in a wide range of professions.

Our latest addition comes from Jane Robb, PhD student at the Natural Resources Institute, University of Greenwich. Jane has studied several languages, including French, German and Spanish and says her Spanish language skills enable her to conduct fieldwork and live and work in Guatemala.

Teachers use our profiles in the classroom to enhance learning about the world of work and how language skills can play a part.

Read more...

New job profile on SCILT's website

17 March 2017 (SCILT)

For relevant, labour-market focused career advice on languages, direct from the workplace, read our latest Job Profile from Lynn Sheppard, Masters Student and travel writer, former English teacher, diplomat and civil servant.

Lynn tells how languages have not only helped in all her diverse job roles, but in developing and maintaining personal and professional relationships around the globe. Language skills have given her a cultural insight into how others think and behave.

Teachers, use this resource in your classroom to enhance learning about the world of work.

Read more...

New job profile on SCILT's website

10 March 2017 (SCILT)

We have a range of Job Profiles on our website designed for teachers to use in the classroom to enhance learning about the world of work and how language skills can play a part.

Our latest addition comes from Kirsten Matthews, a Distillery Tour Guide and Public Service Interpreter. Kirsten tells us her language skills make it possible for her to perform a service and to help people in her roles.

You can see Kirsten's profile on our website.

Read more...

From busuu to Babble, language-learning startups adapt to thrive

7 March 2017 (The Guardian)

Language learning is big business. Each year, students coming to study English in the UK contribute £2bn to the economy. It’s also a market suited to the flexibility of mobile learning and, sure enough, language learning apps are seeking to fill the gaps – more than 350 are listed on the Apple App Store alone.

But language tech isn’t an easy space in which to succeed. Rapid changes in technology have meant that its startups have had to adapt to survive, as Bernhard Niesner, co-founder of busuu, can attest.

Originally from Austria, Niesner had always loved languages: he learned Spanish and travelled in Latin America before undertaking an MBA at the IE Business School in Madrid. There he met Adrian Hilti, originally from Switzerland. It was 2008, Facebook was expanding rapidly, and the two wondered if they could combine technology and learning a language with social media.

So busuu, named after a Cameroonian language, was born, teaching users with interactive courses coupled with a social network of native speakers.

Read more...

New Job Profile on the SCILT website

3 March 2017 (SCILT)

For relevant, labour-market focused career advice on languages, direct from the workplace, read our latest Job Profile from Sandie Robb, Senior Education Officer for the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS).

Working on conservation projects around the globe, Sandie explains how knowing even a little of a language is respectable and polite when working with colleagues worldwide.

Teachers, use this resource in your classroom to enhance learning about the world of work.

Read more...

New student profile on SCILT's website

24 February 2017 (SCILT)

We have a range of Job Profiles on our website designed for teachers to use in the classroom to enhance learning about the world of work and how language skills can play a part.

Our latest addition comes from Emma Therer, a student of German and Linguistics, whose aim is to become a translator and interpreter. She believes languages are key in getting to know people and to learn about other cultures.

Read her profile and others on our website now.

Read more...

Languages Teacher Training Scholarships

23 February 2017 (British Council)

Are you passionate about French, German or Spanish? If so, you could receive a languages scholarship of £27,500 to train as a secondary school teacher in England.

Visit the British Council website for more information and to apply by 31 July 2017.

Read more...

New job profile on SCILT's website

17 February 2017 (SCILT)

For relevant, labour-market focused career advice on languages, direct from the workplace, read our latest Job Profile from Katie Targett-Adams, a professional singer and harpist currently based in Hong Kong. Teachers, use this resource in your classroom to enhance learning about the world of work.

Read more...

Why multilingualism is good for economic growth

3 February 2017 (The Conversation)

'If your strategy is to trade only with people that speak English that’s going to be a poor strategy.'

Top US economist Larry Summers recently tweeted this in relation to America’s focus on its so-called special relationship with the UK. And he’s right. The economic impact on the US – or any other country – that closes off its trade barriers with countries that are different to it would be enormous.

Language matters on a large-scale national level and at the level of smaller businesses.

Read more...

Josh Martin, student of Psychology & German and part-time racing driver

3 February 2017 (SCILT)

Our Job Profiles are designed for teachers to use in the classroom to enhance learning about the world of work and how language skills can play a part.

Our latest addition comes from student and part-time racing driver, Josh Martin, who appreciates how languages are key in helping him communicate with fans around the world and in negotiating sponsorship deals.

Read his profile and others on our website now.

Read more...

New Job Profile on SCILT's website

27 January 2017 (SCILT)

Inspire the future generation with relevant career advice on languages direct from the workplace via the Job Profiles on our website. These resources are designed for teachers to use in the classroom to enhance learning about the world of work and how language skills can play a part.

Our latest addition comes from modern languages teacher, Olivia Ingleby, who tells how language skills helped her discover new places, cultures and the varied opportunities that brought prior to becoming a languages teacher.

Read more...

Business brunches: Inspiring Scotland’s future global workforce in Dundee

24 January 2017 (SCILT)

Young people from eight schools across Tayside and Fife had the opportunity to engage with local businesses at the University of Dundee on 18 January 2017. 70 learners from S3-S6 heard from a range of business leaders who view language skills as key to the growth and success of their company. The Business Brunch demonstrated the relevance of language skills in a work context and aimed to encourage pupils to continue with their language studies into the senior phase of their secondary education, and beyond school.

A teacher attending the event said: “Today’s event has given my pupils real food for thought. Before, I think most of them would have said that you would only really use languages in teaching or translating. However, having heard from the different speakers, they have realised very quickly that languages are used for much more than that.”

One of the young people added to this, and commented: “The event today showed me that, even if you haven’t specialised in language study, for example getting a degree in a modern language, there is still a high chance you will end up using language skills in a small or large part of your job and that knowing a language can open up many more opportunities.”

Dawn Hartley from Scottish Dance Theatre, one of the workshop leaders, stated: “Our dancers come from all over the world, and our choreographers too. We travel to many different countries so we’re constantly grateful for all the various language skills our staff have – we always need them!”

The event was organised by SCILT, Scotland’s National Centre for Languages as part of a series of cross-sector partnership activities with the University Council for Modern Languages Scotland. Companies attending included Michelin, Valentine International Business Connections LLP, Scottish Dance Theatre, Tokheim Ltd, Outplay Entertainment Ltd and University of Dundee. Schools represented were Brechin High School, Bell Baxter High School, Harris Academy, Montrose Academy, Morrison’s Academy, Webster's High School, Craigie High School and Braeview Academy.

Fhiona Mackay, Director of SCILT said: “Events such as these are a really important way of providing young people with high quality careers advice delivered by the business people themselves and of demonstrating to them the value of language skills in our increasingly globalised world”.

Marion Spöring, Chair of UCML Scotland added: “The learning of languages is not only fun, but also essential for future employment opportunities of our young people in Scotland. Languages set the foundation for varied careers, for future engineers as well as artists and in tourism, to name but a few.”

Meaningful employer engagement and providing relevant careers advice are both key recommendations of Scotland’s Youth Employment Strategy, “Developing the young workforce”. This Business Brunch supported these aims by giving young people the opportunity to ask questions and find out more about the role of languages in the business world. The targets laid out in the Scottish Attainment Challenge are about achieving equity in educational outcomes, with a particular focus on closing the poverty-related attainment gap. Through hearing from a range of business leaders and interacting with employees, the aspirations of the young people who attended were raised.

This collaboration between schools and businesses supported Scotland’s International Policy to equip young people with international communication and employability skills that they will need in our increasingly globalised society and economy. The event is one of a series of Business Brunches being held across Scotland in January and February 2017.

More information on SCILT’s 2017 Business Brunches.

New STEM job profile on SCILT's website

20 January 2017 (SCILT)

If you're looking for relevant career advice on languages direct from the workplace, read the Job Profiles on our website. These resources are designed for teachers to use in the classroom to enhance learning about the world of work and how language skills can play a part.

Our latest addition comes from John Barry, a former petroleum engineer and manager with Shell, who explains how his language skills helped him to develop his career with the company.

Read more...

Why making languages non-compulsory at GCSE is a step backwards

17 January 2017 (The Telegraph)

I am nervous as I take my seat in front of the Head of Languages; it is GCSE choices evening and the school gym has been transformed, criss-crossed by rows of tables and chairs with eager parents and their offspring gathered around harried-looking teachers.

“I'd like to do Triple Language,” I say, “French, Spanish and Italian.”

She regards me over the top of her sheet full of names, in front of her.

“Oh no, I don't think so. You could do Spanish, maybe, but you'll find three too difficult.”

Seven years later and I am on the brink of successfully completing my undergraduate degree in, you guessed it, languages. And whilst I look back on that exchange now with a certain degree of victorious pride, I still can't help but wonder what prompted her to turn a perfectly capable student away from her course.

In this performance-obsessed climate where a pupil's grades are often put before their education, it is unsurprising that even some of the best teachers find themselves advising students against courses which are deemed too challenging. But we must do away with the notion that languages are an elite subject if we are to improve the dire situation in which we now find ourselves.

Read more...

New Job Profile on the SCILT website

13 January 2017 (SCILT)

Our Job Profiles provide relevant, labour-market focused career advice on languages, direct from the workplace.

Teachers, use them in your classroom to enhance learning about the world of work.

Read our new Job Profile from Dawn Hartley, Head of Creative Learning at Scottish Dance Theatre.

Read more...

The top 100 universities in the world for employability revealed

21 November 2016 (The Independent)

Cambridge, Oxford, Imperial College London, King’s College London and the University of Manchester all ranked highly in terms of graduate employability.

[..] Taking into consideration opinions from 2,500 recruitment managers from international companies in 20 countries around the world, researchers named “professional experience” as the most important factor when predicting a graduate’s employability.

A high degree of specialism, and proficiency in at least two foreign languages were also hailed as important skills favoured by recruiters.

Responding to the results, Vicky Gough, a spokesperson for the British Council, said: “Despite languages being valued by employers the world over – as this latest ranking shows – the UK is currently facing a shortfall in these vital skills."

Read more...

Sign language degree opens opportunities

17 November 2016 (Edinburgh News)

A chronic UK-wide shortage of British Sign Language (BSL) interpreters led Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh to launch Scotland’s first BSL degree course in 2012 to equip students with the skills they require for a career in translation and interpretation.

The first cohort graduated in June with many going straight into jobs as a result of the high demand for BSL interpreters.

Many interpreters are self employed, working freelance and using agencies to source work within the deaf community. Others go into salaried employment, as Sam Rojas, 21, did with North East Sensory Services (NESS) in Aberdeen after graduating from Heriot-Watt.

Read more...

Too few UK students are studying overseas, and it’s a problem

17 November 2016 (THE)

This week is the British Council’s International Education Week, which promotes the benefits of international learning and cultural exchange.

The UK is a global hub for international students with more than 400,000 studying here last year. Yet British students travelling outside the UK to study is relatively rare, and this is a problem. Just 1.3 per cent of UK students travelled abroad to study or go on work placement in 2014-15.

For graduates to find jobs and succeed in today’s post-Brexit world, they need international and cross-cultural knowledge. It is also critical for the UK’s competitiveness in international markets that the next generation entering the workplace understands how to compete globally.

Employers expect graduates to appreciate cultural diversity, universal business language and be familiar with globalisation. However, in terms of having a global mindset, nearly a quarter of employers (24 per cent) have rated graduates as weak in this area.

Read more...

New job profile on the SCILT website

11 November 2016 (SCILT)

Our Job Profiles are designed to be used in the classroom to enhance learning about the world of work. They provide really relevant careers advice on languages, direct from the workplace, and cover a range of sectors. See our latest addition:
  • Claire Murphy, Translator - a translator at the European Commission, Claire speaks Spanish, German and Italian and is currently learning French. She explains how cultural knowledge is as important as language skills in her role.
See this and other job profiles on our website now.

Read more...

Opinion: Brexit and the importance of languages for Britain #5

1 November 2016 (University of Cambridge)

In the fifth of a new series of comment pieces written by linguists at Cambridge, Dr John Gallagher, historian of early modern Europe, argues that Britain should look to its past to rediscover the importance of language learning.

The article also includes links to the previous entries in the series.

Read more...

Business Brunches 2017

28 October 2016 (SCILT)

For the third year in succession SCILT, in partnership with University Council for Modern Languages (UCMLS) will be hosting a series of Business Brunch events across Scotland in January and February 2017. These will take place in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dundee, Aberdeen and Inverness.

Aimed specifically at S3 - S6 pupils, these events will demonstrate the relevance of language skills in a work context with the intention of encouraging pupils to continue with their language studies into the senior phase of their secondary education.

Registration is now open for the Glasgow, Dundee and Aberdeen events. (Edinburgh and Inverness will open soon).

To find out more and to register by 21 November, visit our Business Brunch 2017 webpage.

Read more...

Generation UK – China

6 October 2016 (British Council)

The British Council is pleased to announce a new partnership with the Scottish Government to support more students from Scottish universities to undertake internships in China through the British Council’s Generation UK – China campaign. The partnership will be focused on supporting Scottish students from low-income backgrounds to gain international experience in the world’s second-largest economy.

Minister for Further Education, Higher Education and Science, Shirley-Anne Somerville, said:

“This is a fantastic opportunity for Scottish students to develop highly valuable knowledge and skills working in one of the world’s fastest-growing and most dynamic economies. The Scottish Government’s support for this programme underlines our commitment to investing in Scotland’s future workforce and further strengthening our growing engagement with China.”

The Generation UK – China campaign will assist the Scottish Government in delivering its International Framework and in further strengthening relations with China. It will also develop the academic achievement and employability of students and recent graduates of Scotland’s higher education institutions.

“My experience interning in Beijing was fast-paced, exciting and always engaging,” said Justine Porter, a graduate of the University of Dundee who completed a two-month internship at a law firm in Beijing through the Generation UK – China campaign last year.

Visit the British Council website for more information.

Read more...

The top 9 languages for the highest-paid jobs in Britain

26 September 2016 (The Independent)

Learning a second language can be extremely lucrative for your career opportunities.

And after jobs search engine Adzuna analysed over 1 million live job postings on its website, it found out that some languages are more likely to get you a higher paid job than others in Britain, when employers advertised for jobs looking for someone who was at least bi-lingual.

Considering the UK voted to leave the European Union — dubbed a Brexit — and the nation does not know what that would entail for the jobs market, Adzuna's cofounder pointed out that having a second language could become even more sought-after, especially if businesses look to relocate overseas.

Read more...

New student profiles on the SCILT website

16 September 2016 (SCILT)

New additions to our job profile section this term come from students currently undertaking courses which also allow them to develop their language skills.

Our two latest profiles come from students in the Tourism sector:

  • Amy-Jo Fairbairn, who is studying for a HND in Travel and Tourism at the City of Glasgow college.
  • Gail Leslie who, after completing her HND course in Travel and Tourism, is now embarking on a degree in Business Studies at UWS..
Whilst choosing different languages to learn, both can see the value of language skills for their future careers and personal lives.

Read their profiles and others on our website.

Read more...

Six professionals on why UK teenagers should learn languages

6 September 2016 (British Council Voices)

For many young people in the UK, learning another language is not a priority – only nine per cent of teenagers progressed beyond a basic level in the language they were learning in 2013. But with so many people around the globe already speaking English, I wanted to know if learning another language is really worth it. Here's what I found out from some people who would know.

Read more...

New student profile on the SCILT website

26 August 2016 (SCILT)

A new addition to our job profile section this term comes from Euan Kerr, an aeronautical engineering student at the University of Strathclyde.

Euan aims to pursue a career in engineering and appreciates that language skills will help him broaden his options and secure work overseas.

With that in mind, when Euan spent his third year studying abroad in Prague he chose to take up learning Czech as part of his studies. Having learned French at school helped him pick up a new language and making the effort to speak Czech gained respect with the local community.

So if you have pupils considering STEM subjects when they leave school, they should perhaps take a leaf from Euan's book and consider language electives too.

Read Euan's full profile on our website.

Read more...

New job profile on SCILT's website

17 June 2016 (SCILT)

Highlight the value of languages in the world of work to your pupils. We have a range of job profiles on the SCILT website in which people from a range of sectors - including sport, marketing, technology and many more - explain how language learning has influenced their professional lives. See our latest addition:
  • Rosemary Graham, Tour Guide - Rosemary's knowledge of the German language enabled her to live and work in Germany teaching and making jewellery. Now she uses her language skills to guide tourists around Scotland.
See this and other job profiles on our website now.

Read more...

SCILT publishes new Business Language Champions case study

20 May 2016 (SCILT)

Business Language Champions helps schools and businesses to build exciting and sustainable partnerships to equip young people with international communication and employability skills for their future careers. A partnership between Johnstons of Elgin and Elgin Academy demonstrated to S2 pupils the importance of languages in the textile industry as well as developing employability skills within an interdisciplinary context. Learners considered marketing strategies for promoting textile goods in China and delivered a presentation to a “Dragon’s Den” judging panel.

Read more...

New job profile on SCILT's website

12 May 2016 (SCILT)

Let your pupils see that languages are valuable in the world of work. We have a range of job profiles on the SCILT website in which people from a range of sectors - including sport, marketing, technology and many more - explain how language learning has influenced their professional lives. See our latest addition:
See this and other job profiles on our website now.

Read more...

Business Brunch 2016 events webpage now live!

6 May 2016 (SCILT)

SCILT, in partnership with the University Council for Modern Languages Scotland (UCMLS), held a series of Business Brunch events (formerly Business Breakfast) across Scotland, during January and February this year where pupils from S3-S6 heard from a range of business leaders who view language skills as key to the growth and success of their company.

Find out more about the events on our new webpage.

Read more...

New job profile on the SCILT website

1 April 2016 (SCILT)

We have a range of job profiles on the SCILT website to let your pupils see that languages are valuable in the world of work. People from a range of sectors - including sport, marketing, technology and many more - explain how language learning has influenced their professional lives. See our latest profile now:

  • Amanda Attfield, Exploration Geologist - Amanda speaks Finnish, German, Spanish and is now learning Russian to help in her current job role. She tells how her love of languages has made her more employable, taken her around the globe and helped forge connections with local people and their cultures.
See this and other job profiles on our website now.

Read more...

Language learning for business

29 March 2016 (Scottish Government)

In a global, multi-cultural society, being able to communicate in more than one language is increasingly vital. It is important for the nation’s prosperity that young people are attracted to learning languages and that they become confident in speaking languages other than their own.

According to the CBI's Education and Skills survey 2015, over three quarters of businesses (77%) have a need for language skills among their employees, with over one in ten (11%) stating they would need language skills in the next few years.

The Scottish Government is committed to expanding and improving language learning so that our young people are equipped with the skills and competencies needed for the global economy. That is why we have made an ambitious languages commitment to introduce a norm for language learning based on the EU 1+2 model. This will ensure that all young people in Scotland have excellent language learning opportunities from a young age, as a normal and expected part of a broad, relevant school education.

Ken Lindsay tells us of his experiences of learning languages and how they have helped him in his role as an International Brand Ambassador for Chivas Brothers Ltd.

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Study abroad: The world is your classroom

19 March 2016 (The Telegraph)

It’s cheaper, yes; but British students are finding other, more surprising benefits in studying abroad.

After thumbing through countless prospectuses, working out predicted A-levels and totting up the price of university, British students are picking up their passports and searching farther afield for an education.

Since 2010, there has been an explosion in English-taught degree programmes in continental Europe. Of the top 1,000 universities in the world offering 36,500 English-taught programmes, 75 per cent are outside Britain.

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Go and work abroad – it could have career benefits you never imagined

17 March 2016 (The Guardian)

I had a lot of good times working abroad – teaching English in Germany and working on summer camps in France and Spain – but I didn’t realise that I was also building valuable skills for my career.

Employers really value those with international experience. Katie Bateman, a careers advisor at the University of Gloucestershire, says it can set you apart from a crowd of other applicants. “Graduates can learn another language and prove just how adaptable they are by embracing change and learning to adjust to a different culture,” she says.

Read more...

The curriculum vs employability skills?

16 March 2016 (SecEd)

The curriculum is hampering schools’ efforts to improve and develop the employability skills of their young people, argues Phil Crompton.

Everyone spends at least 11 years at school. That’s a long time. So surely it is not unreasonable to expect young people emerging from the education system to be ready to make a positive contribution to the working world?

I am not talking about examination results. They are just one indicator of someone’s capacity to be a great employee, or even an employer. I am talking about the skills that actually matter in the workplace.

Shouldn’t pupils in our schools be given the chance to develop skills in communicating with confidence, working in teams, bouncing back from failure, being polite, and organising themselves. And once they have developed the skills fully shouldn’t some recognition be available? Employers certainly think so. And so do I.

[..] At my three schools, we recognise the existing curriculum isn’t going away and that exams have to be passed, but we are working with local businesses to breathe life into some of the duller parts of the curriculum and to equip our pupils for working life.

Science classes are advising a housing company on how to promote their new eco-homes, German and French students are producing foreign language leaflets for visitors to a local hotel, computing students have worked with an IT firm to create mobile phone apps, A level students have been practising Spanish conversation at a city tapas bar, and a professional actress has worked with a drama class.

Read more...

Televerde Selects Glasgow, Scotland for European Headquarters and Contact Center Location

3 March 2016 (Virtual Strategy )

Televerde, the global sales and marketing solutions provider, announces today it has selected Glasgow, Scotland as the location for its European headquarters and contact center.

[..] Over the course of the next 12-24 months, Televerde will hire up to 170 employees, including approximately 130 multilingual contact center agents. The Glasgow contact center will include language capabilities in English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Scandinavian and Eastern European languages. Glasgow was specifically chosen as Televerde’s European launching pad based on its ability to serve the company’s customers with its multilingual talent, geographic proximity between the U.S. and continental Europe and through a high-performance partnership with Scottish Development International.

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New job profile on the SCILT website

19 February 2016 (SCILT)

We have a range of job profiles on the SCILT website to let your pupils see that languages are valuable in the world of work. People from a range of sectors - including sport, marketing, technology and many more - explain how language learning has influenced their professional lives.

Our latest profile features Adam Williams. a Spacecraft Operations Engineer working for the European Space Agency on the ExoMars mission, whose goal is to send a robotic vehicle to Mars to try and find evidence of past or present life on Mars. He explains how beneficial language skills are when working with a diverse range of international colleagues.

See this and other job profiles on our website now.

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Inspiring Scotland’s future global workforce in Glasgow

18 January 2016 (SCILT)

Young people from fourteen schools across the west of Scotland had the opportunity to engage with local businesses at the University of Strathclyde on 13 January 2016. 140 learners from S3-S6 heard from a range of business leaders who view language skills as key to the growth and success of their company. The Business Brunch demonstrated the relevance of language skills in a work context and aimed to encourage pupils to continue with their language studies into the senior phase of their secondary education, and beyond school.

A teacher attending the event said: “The speaker demonstrated the value of languages to learners and it was powerful for them to see this in a commercial context. The event gave learners lots to think about in terms of their future careers.” One of the young people added to this, and commented: “When one of the speakers spoke to us in seven languages, this is what influenced me the most to consider languages in the future. His languages seemed to have been very beneficial to his career.”

David Ross from Keppie Design, one of the workshop leaders, stated: “People are what make business work. If you can speak languages it makes life much easier. It's a fallacy that the world speaks English.”

The event was organised by SCILT, Scotland’s National Centre for Languages in partnership with the University Council for Modern Languages Scotland. Companies attending included Shepherd and Wedderburn LLP, Barclays Bank and IBM. Schools represented were Bellshill Academy, Belmont House School, Bishopbriggs Academy, Cathkin High School, Dumbarton Academy, Hillhead High School, Irvine Royal Academy, John Ogilvie High, Kilmarnock Academy, Lenzie Academy, Moffat Academy, Our Lady and St Patrick's High, Our Lady's High Cumbernauld and Uddingston Grammar.

Fhiona Fisher, Director of SCILT said: “Events such as these are a really important way of providing young people with high quality careers advice delivered by the business people themselves and of demonstrating to them the value of language skills in our increasingly globalised world”.

Meaningful employer engagement and providing relevant careers advice are both key recommendations of Scotland’s Youth Employment Strategy, “Developing the young workforce”. This Business Brunch supported these aims by giving young people the opportunity to ask questions and find out more about the role of languages in the business world.

This collaboration between schools and businesses supported Scotland’s International Policy to equip young people with international communication and employability skills that they will need in our increasingly globalised society and economy.

The event is one of a series of Business Brunches being held across Scotland in January and February 2016 which build on the successful series of Business Breakfasts in January 2015.

More information on SCILT’s 2016 Business Brunches.

White Hot Employer Demand For MBAs Who Speak Multiple Languages

17 January 2016 (Business Because)

Ask anyone working at a business school what makes it unique and you’ll get a spiel about global diversity. Yet companies are desperate for graduates who have honed multiple languages and cultural norms.

“Languages are always good for us,” says Julia McDonald, head of talent acquisition for EMEA at Infosys. English is the company’s common language, “but our clients often want people that can speak their local language,” Julia says.

Mark Davies, employer relations manager at London’s Imperial College Business School, says there is growing demand for multilingual European language speakers at companies including BP, GE, Johnson & Johnson, and GSK, which have operations in emerging markets.

André Alcalde, an executive at Lojas Renner, Brazil’s largest fast-fashion retailer, speaks English, Spanish, French and Portuguese.

“In a business world that is more internationally-connected,” says the HULT MBA student, “it is mandatory when building an executive career to be able to deal with different cultures.”

Nearly two-thirds of businesses in the UK want to recruit staff with foreign language skills. A survey by the business lobby group the CBI and education company Pearson found European languages are the most sought after: French (50%); German (49%); and Spanish (44%).

Read more...

New job profile on the SCILT website

14 January 2016 (SCILT)

We have a range of job profiles on the SCILT website to let your pupils see that languages are valuable in the world of work. People from a range of sectors - including sport, marketing, technology and many more - explain how language learning has influenced their professional lives.

Our latest profile features Andrew Muir, who lived and studied in Scotland but now works in London as a Character Animator on a children's TV series. He tells us why language learning is important and the opportunities this can offer him to expand his career overseas.

See this and other job profiles on our website now.

Read more...

'Pay for foreign exchange trips rather than a week in Majorca,' top headteacher tells parents

11 January 2016 (TES)

Parents should consider sending their child on a school foreign exchange rather than spending money on a week in Majorca, a headteacher has suggested.

Young people are likely to learn more on a cultural break in a city such as Madrid or Barcelona than they are sitting on a beach, according to Caroline Jordan, headmistress of Headington School in Oxford and the new president of the Girls' Schools Association.

Setting up a foreign exchange for students did not have to be expensive, Ms Jordan said.

"It's trying to convince the parents that that's good use of their finances as opposed to a foreign holiday to Majorca, where they may well be in a Spanish environment but they're less likely to be experiencing Spanish as they would be if they were in somewhere like Madrid or Barcelona on exchange," she said.

"Exchange is very important and we know that languages is a real area of concern in this country. The government is doing quite a lot about this by trying to encourage all children to take a language through the English Baccalaureate."

Figures show that last year, there was a drop in language GCSE entries, with French down 6.2 per cent on 2014, German down 9.8 per cent and Spanish down 2.4 per cent.

As well as ensuring that children learned a foreign language, Ms Jordan added that it was important that modern teenagers were given the opportunity to consider studying at a university overseas, arguing that it could be beneficial to them later on.

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British astronaut Tim Peake is tested on his Russian skills (video)

13 December 2015 (BBC)

British astronaut Tim Peake has spent six years training for his mission to the International Space Station which blasts off on Tuesday 15 December.

He's said that the hardest bit was learning Russian - the language is needed to operate the Soyuz rocket and the Russian parts of the ISS.

We tested Tim's vocabulary and pronunciation with the help of two BBC Russian staff, Famil Ismailov and Anya Dorodeyko.

Read more...

BB is back!

4 December 2015 (SCILT)

Due to popular demand, SCILT, in partnership with University Council for Modern Languages (UCMLS) is delighted to announce that we will be hosting a series of Business Brunch events (formerly Business Breakfast) across Scotland next year! Last chance to register for all events 4 December (except Edinburgh - 10 December)!

Aimed specifically at S3 - S6 pupils, each event will provide learners with the opportunity to hear from a wide range of dynamic business leaders who view language skills as key to the growth of the success of their organisations and why they compete successfully in a globalised market.
Most importantly, it will give young people the opportunity to ask questions and find out more about the variety of careers and employment opportunities that are open to people who can demonstrate language skills on their CV.

In addition, we will highlight the benefits of offering the SVQ unit 'Building your own Employability Skills' from the Languages for Life and Work Award, because it can be an effective stepping stone for the employability context in National 4/5, Higher and Advanced Higher.

To find out more and register interest for these events, visit our Business Brunches 2016 webpage.

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All talk ... five ways to use language skills to boost your career

9 November 2015 (The Guardian)

Resigned to a short sentence shoved at the bottom of CVs, downplaying language skills is a common mistake.

Whether you are completely fluent or stuttering over the subjunctive, you should be shouting about it to employers, says Lizzie Fane, founder of ThirdYearAbroad.com. “It shows an eagerness to learn to your employer and may even lead to you being able to travel abroad or work with clients who speak that language.”

Read more...

New job profile on the SCILT website

6 November 2015 (SCILT)

Let your pupils see that languages are valuable in the world of work by visiting the 'Job Profiles' section of the SCILT website. People from a range of sectors - including sport, marketing, technology and many more - explain how language learning has influenced their professional lives.

The latest profile is from Catherine McNicol, a PhD researcher at the University of Exeter, working in the Environment and Sustainability Institute in Cornwall.

SCILT has worked to make all of the job profiles more useful for teachers and learners by organising them by workplace sector.

See Catherine's profile and others on our website now.

Read more...

No bad language from Gala pupils

23 October 2014 (The Southern Reporter)

A recent careers event highlighted the importance of language skills to Galashiels Academy pupils.

S3 pupils participated in the event held in the school on September 23.

It aimed to demonstrate the value of language skills for Scotland’s future workforce and to encourage pupils to consider the relevance of languages for their personal development as well as for further study and future career opportunities.

Read more...

The 10 second languages UK employers most want their staff to speak

15 September 2015 (i100/The Independent)

French is the most useful language British employers look for on CVs, according to a recent study.

Adequate foreign language skills were one of the most highly rated concerns for employees looking to hire, the Confederation of British Industry study found.

Read more...

The Language of Modern Football

15 September 2015 (Sanako UK)

"In essence, being a football coach of a multi-national team of individuals requires as much ability to communicate as it requires actual coaching knowledge and experience. There is no point in
knowing what you want to say if you can’t get your point across."

Ian Burchnall, 32, is assistant manager at Viking FK and has been the same at Sarpsborg 08 in
the Norwegian top division. He has worked for Leeds United and Bradford City's academies
and, before moving to Norway, was head coach at Leeds University

Read this article in Sanako's autumn newsletter giving his views on how language skills provide a distinct advantage in the world of football.

Read more...

Budding police constables must speak second language in Met pilot scheme

20 July 2015 (The Guardian)

Aspiring police constables must speak a second language to join London’s Metropolitan police under a month-long pilot scheme.

Scotland Yard is hoping the new criterion will help police “engage with London’s diverse communities as effectively as possible”.

From Monday, to be considered for one of the sought-after positions with the capital’s police force, applicants must speak one of 14 languages as well as English. 

They are: Arabic, Bengali, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Punjabi, Sinhala (Sri Lanka), Spanish, Turkish or Yoruba (Nigeria).

Read more...

Related Links

Language recruitment campaign launched (Metropolitan Police, 20 July 2015)

The case for foreign languages as an aspiring lawyer

7 July 2015 (The Guardian)

If you want to work in the competitive legal profession, having foreign language skills can help to set you apart.

The relative lack of foreign language skills among the UK population is well-documented. A recent Guardian survey revealed that 39% of young native English speakers were put off learning a foreign language because “most people speak English”, and 14% by the idea that “most other languages are not useful”.

But for students hoping to enter the legal profession – which is increasingly global in outlook – being able to speak a foreign language is useful, and ever more desirable to employers.

Read more...

Vacancies: Professional Development Officer (2 posts)

12 May 2015 (SCILT)

SCILT requires two Professional Development Officers to support secondary schools as they continue to develop their strategy for the implementation of the 1+2 languages policy. This is an exciting opportunity to work at national level and drive forward the strategic languages agenda in Scotland. The Professional Development Officers will be responsible for developing and delivering a broad range of support measures for teachers of languages. This would include, for example, leading professional learning workshops and managing projects, national awards/competitions and other promotional events. It is expected that the post holders will support practitioners to turn policy into practice to create a positive impact on learners. This will be based on identification of practitioners’ needs, with particular reference to the aims of Curriculum for Excellence and the implementation of the 1+2 languages policy.

For the full job specification and how to apply visit the Stathclyde University vacancies webpage.

Closing date for applications is 25 May 2015.

Read more...

SCILT Business Breakfasts webpage now live

8 May 2015 (SCILT)

SCILT was delighted to host three motivational Business Breakfast events in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen at the beginning of this year. Our main aim was to support S3-S6 pupils in the uptake of language learning in the senior phase by providing schools with an opportunity to hear from various dynamic speakers who view language skills as a key part to the success of their businesses.

We have uploaded presentations and photographs from the event onto our website. You might find the presentations useful to use with your pupils to promote the benefits of languages.

Visit our Business Breakfasts 2015 webpage for more information.

Read more...

IoLET unveils new languages for business qualification

31 March 2015 (Chartered Institute of Linguists)

IoLET, the awarding body of the Chartered Institute of Linguists, exhibited at the Association for Language Learning’s annual gathering of teachers, Language World, now in its 25th year.

At the event held in Newcastle on 20-21 March, IoLET presented its newest qualification, the Certificate in Languages for Business (CLB), attracting keen interest from MFL teachers from around the UK. This practical, work-oriented qualification is initially offered in French, German and Spanish, and is already running across a number of secondary schools and universities.

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Studying languages: Shout louder

28 February 2015 (The Economist)

The last time she was recruiting for her export-sales team, Sarah Grain hired a Lithuanian who speaks Russian, Polish and German. Her two previous hires for Eriez Magnetics, which makes industrial equipment in South Wales, were an Italian who also speaks French, and a Venezuelan who speaks Spanish and Portuguese. All of them speak fluent English. “There were no British applicants who had the requisite language skills,” she says.

Ms Grain’s conclusion is not unusual for a British company. In 2012 a European Commission survey tested the foreign-language proficiency of 54,000 students aged 14 and 15, in 14 nations. Sweden came top, with 82% of pupils reaching an “independent” or “advanced independent” standard. The average for all 14 states was 42%. England came bottom, with just 9%.

Read more...

Want a job that's out of this world? Seven steps to becoming an astronaut

10 February 2015 (The Guardian)

Learn a language, be prepared to move across the world and play to your strengths to get a career in space.

Read more...

Why languages are the key to Britain's future

30 January 2015 (Third Year Abroad)

Third Year Abroad Editor, Florence, discusses why lesser-taught languages such as Arabic and Mandarin are not just useful life skills, but are crucial to the future of the UK.

Read more...

New job profile on the SCILT website

16 December 2014 (SCILT)

Let your pupils see that languages are valuable in the world of work by visiting the 'Job Profiles' section of the SCILT website. People from a range of sectors - including sport, marketing, technology and many more - explain how language learning has influenced their professional lives.

Our latest addition to the section comes from Verena Gräfin von Roedern, Head of the German Consulate General in Edinburgh, who talks about the many reasons why we should learn German.

See this and other job profiles on our website now.

Read more...

Why language skills are great for business

16 December 2014 (The Guardian)

Don’t know your bonjours from your buongiornos? You’re not alone: three-quarters of British adults can’t speak a foreign language competently. But the benefits of being able to communicate with overseas clients, suppliers and buyers are huge – as are the costs of lacking that facility.

Read more...

Language degrees: when the words are not enough

11 December 2014 (Times Higher Education)

A deep understanding of foreign languages is often essential to the combination of cajolery and seduction many companies require in their international negotiators.

That was the argument of Richard Hardie, chair of investment bank UBS, at a Westminster Higher Education Forum seminar on “Priorities for foreign language learning: participation, resources and progression” last week.

Read more...

New job profile on the SCILT website

5 December 2014 (SCILT)

Let your pupils see that languages are valuable in the world of work by visiting the 'Job Profiles' section of the SCILT website. People from a range of sectors - including sport, marketing, technology and many more - explain how language learning has influenced their professional lives.

Our latest addition to the section comes from Heloise Allan, Head of Education for Project Trust, an educational charity specialising in overseas volunteering in 34 countries for school-leavers aged 17-19.

See this and other job profiles on our website now.

Read more...

New job profiles on SCILT’s website

21 November 2014 (SCILT)

Let your pupils see that languages are valuable in the world of work by visiting the 'Job Profiles' section of the SCILT website. People from a range of sectors - including sport, marketing, technology and many more - explain how language learning has influenced their professional lives.
NEW to the job profiles section: 

  • Chris Cusack explains how languages have helped him in his music career
  • Martin Peterson of Shell shares his view of languages in the world of business

See these and other job profiles on our website now.

Read more...

New BLC Case Study live on SCILT website

6 November 2014 (SCILT)

SCILT’s Business Language Champions programme helps schools and businesses to build exciting and sustainable partnerships that equip young people with the international communication and employability skills they need for their future careers.

This case study shows how a partnership between Kilwinning Academy and the Scottish Football Association demonstrated to pupils that languages are necessary in all walks of life. S3 learners visited the Scottish Football Museum and took part in a range of activities which highlighted the relevance of learning French.

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Vacancy: Administrative Assistant

23 October 2014 (SCILT/CISS)

The Confucius Institute for Scotland’s Schools, (CISS) within SCILT, Scotland’s National Centre for Languages, is looking to appoint an Administrative Assistant for this busy centre. CISS is jointly funded by Hanban/Confucius Institute Headquarters and Scottish Government and is expanding to manage new Confucius Classroom Hubs around Scotland in addition to the 12 currently in place.

The postholder will be responsible for providing effective administrative and organisational support to the Confucius Institute for Scotland’s Schools. Support will be primarily for the Project Co-ordinator and Manager of the Confucius Institute and will include events management, organisation of trips to China, responding to enquiries and monitoring CISS expenditure and income. The postholder will also be responsible for updating the CISS website and for collating the CISS newsletter and other publications.

For more information and an application form, visit the University of Strathclyde's vacancy webpage.  Application deadline: 26 October 2014.

Read more...

BLC Case Study live on SCILT website

21 October 2014 (SCILT)

SCILT’s Business Language Champions programme helps schools and businesses to build exciting and sustainable partnerships that equip young people with the international communication and employability skills they need for their future careers.

This case study shows how a partnership between Priorsford Primary and Holland & Sherry, a world renown cloth merchant based in Peebles, provided a local context to show young people the opportunities that arise from learning a modern language. The whole school was involved in this BLC project which raised learners’ awareness of what Holland & Sherry does in their local town while building learners’ language skills.

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Motivating the demotivated: SCILT job profiles

21 October 2014 (SCILT)

Show your pupils that languages are valuable in the world of work by visiting the 'Job Profiles' section of the SCILT website. People from a range of sectors - including sport, marketing, technology and many more - explain how language learning has influenced their professional lives.

NEW to the job profiles section:

  • Susan Young shows us her unusual office, and tells us how she turned her passion in life into her job.
  • Amy Baxter shares her story with us in a new video interview just added to her job profile.

Read more...

New job profile on the SCILT website

7 October 2014 (SCILT)

Communicating in another language doesn't necessarily mean you have to speak it.  Confused?  All will be revealed by interpreter, Paul Belmonte, in the latest job profile added to our website.

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How to get a job when you graduate

31 May 2014 (Guardian)

Recruiters share the ten key skills students really need when they graduate. Includes a 'global mindset' and a language.

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The Antarctic tour guide: my career in languages

17 April 2014 (The Guardian)

Multilinguist Nikki Rickett leads groups around Antarctica, a job she wouldn't be able to do without her background in languages.

Read more...

Soaring success of cabin crew course

4 April 2014 (TESS)

With its opportunities for international travel, plus obligatory high heels and lipstick, the job of the “trolley dolly” or air hostess has long been regarded as a glamorous career choice.
The threat of international terrorism and advent of no-frills travel have served to make the lives of modern cabin crew far less glitzy. But at City of Glasgow College, which has received 353 applications for up to 23 places on its unique airline cabin crew training course, it seems that working at 35,000ft is as attractive as ever.

Languages, essential on international flights, are part of the course, with students required to study German, Spanish and French.

Read more...

Job profiles

18 March 2014 (SCILT)

More profiles of people who have found languages useful in their work have been uploaded onto the SCILT website. Read about successful people in the business and sporting worlds and see why they consider that learning a language is really important.

Recent additions include: 

  • Melville Petrie, Director of PAI Ltd, on the challenges of learning and working with Mandarin and Arabic 
  • Euan Johnston, Marketing Manager at Bellcom Worldwide, on his love of German and how this has helped his career
  • Ian Fyfe, Human Resources Director and SFA Referee on languages as an important skill for SFA coaches

This is a useful resource to inspire pupils to study languages and highlight how doing so may benefit their future career.

Visit our Job Profiles and Careers webpage for more information.

Read more...

Inspiring the Future Languages Focus Week unveiled 22-26 September 2014

3 March 2014 (Education and Employers)

(Applies to England) A national campaign is being launched to encourage young people to learn languages at school and understand how language skills impact on their job prospects. Inspiring the Future Languages Focus Week is taking place 22-26 September 2014 and seeks to get 100s of schools and employers involved across England.

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Lack of foreign languages skills ‘hurts firms,’ warns Oxfordshire businessman

14 February 2014 (Oxford Mail)

An Oxfordshire businessman has told the Government that schools must teach more foreign languages for British businesses to thrive.

Gary Muddyman, chief executive of translation agency Conversis, based in Chesterton near Bicester, spoke in the House of Lords to highlight the issue. He warned that the deepening language skills shortage is affecting UK competitiveness abroad.

Read more...

Employers struggle to fill vacancies because of lack of languages

30 January 2014 (The Guardian)

A dearth of foreign language skills accounts for nearly a fifth of hard-to-fill vacancies in the UK, a survey has found.

The UK Commission for Employment and Skills' (UKCES) report on the UK's employer skills found that of reasons employers gave for struggling to fill vacancies, 17% attributed a languages skills shortage.

The survey asked employers which skills they found to be lacking among applicants for its vacancies. Language skills came in at 17%, second to last after IT skills. The highest portion of skills employers found lacking in applicants were technical, job-specific skills, which accounted for 63%.

Genna Kik, senior research manager on the report, said that while the language skills may be low overall compared to the categories, for the businesses experiencing these shortfalls, the impact is significant.

Read more...

Languages are in vogue in the fashion industry

17 January 2014 (The Guardian)

Aldo Liguori couldn't do his job without languages. Liguori is global head of PR at Fast Retailing, the Japanese company behind international clothing giants Uniqlo and French label Comptoir des Cotonniers. He is fluent in five languages, including Japanese, which he says gives him "a complete advantage" when liaising with the media and his senior colleagues around the world.

Read more...

My career teaching English as a foreign language: the love of a linguist

17 January 2014 (The Guardian)

Iona Lunan outlines her work as a language trainer, sharing advice on the key skills you'll need and what challenges you'll face.

A linguist at heart knowing that she wanted to travel and learn more languages led her to Tefl.

Read more...

British students urged: Go to China to boost job hopes

18 December 2013 (Newsbeat)

There has been a rise in the number of British people going to study in China over the past five years. The number of British students going to study in the country has risen from 3,174 to 4,250.

A charity has told Newsbeat even more young people should consider it in an effort to boost their job chances. China is already the world's second biggest economy and is expected to overtake the US in the future.

The British Council says the the UK still lags behind countries like France when it comes to sending students east.

Read more...

Language skills deficit costs the UK £48bn a year

10 December 2013 (The Guardian)

Deficient language skills and the assumption that "everyone speaks English" are costing the UK economy around £48bn a year, or 3.5% of GDP, according to research by Professor James Foreman-Peck for the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS).

Poor language skills act like a "tax on growth", hampering small to medium-size exporters, who are unable to employ the language specialists brought in by global companies, says Foreman-Peck, professor of economics at Cardiff Business School. It also deters non-exporters from trading internationally, he adds.

Read more...

Arsène Wenger talks his way to another title

10 December 2013 (The Guardian)

The Arsenal manager talks to Molly Pierce about his dedication to language learning and how football can make learning them more exciting.

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A good diplomat needs to interact with locals

10 December 2013 (The Guardian)

A good diplomat needs to have the language skills to communicate and interact with locals on the street. It is not sufficient to be able to speak to the country's leaders. It is, of course, an important part of a diplomat's job to report, accurately, exchanges with the host government; but to anticipate trends and to detect straws in the wind you need diplomats who can mingle with those outside of government who may yet influence public opinion.

Read more...

Beyond School - new section of the SCILT website

6 December 2013 (SCILT)

Our new ‘Beyond School’ section on the SCILT website offers help and advice to young people about the many ways they can continue to develop their language skills, whether by making the transition from school to a course at university or by studying, working or volunteering overseas. As well as general help and advice on making the move to university and courses available, there are links to potential career paths and opportunities and what support is available to schools to help promote languages as a subject choice at university.

Read more...

Languages, diplomacy and national security: five key issues

5 December 2013 (The Guardian)

Safeguarding Britain's interests abroad requires diplomats who can speak languages. In a recent live chat on the Guardian, a panel of experts debated the importance of languages for diplomacy and national security. Five key themes emerged from that conversation.

  • Diplomacy and national security
  • The scale of the threats
  • Fluency vs functionality
  • The cost of language training
  • The American perspective

Read more...

Languages and STEM skills - opening doors!

5 December 2013 (Education Scotland )

SCILT, Scotland’s National Centre for Languages, is working with businesses and schools in Scotland to promote languages as a key skill for employment.

Operating effectively in a global economy relies on many skills and includes the right language skills. People who can communicate, at least conversationally, can make all the difference in the conduct of business, consolidating relationships with existing suppliers and customers and opening the way to new overseas contacts. When combined with STEM skills, the career opportunities in a vast array of sectors widens.

Read more...

A language skills deficit is damaging diplomacy, warns British Academy

26 November 2013 (The Guardian)

Britain's language skills deficit is threatening its diplomatic influence and national security, a report by the British Academy has found.

The British Academy, the national body for the humanities and social sciences, calls for government to address the lack of language skills across all its departments and to prioritise the development of these skills among current staff and future generations. The report warns that if more is not done to bridge the languages gap that exists within government, Britain's diplomatic influence will be damaged.

"Languages are a critical tool through which UK diplomats and government staff can deepen their knowledge and build the trust that is necessary to promote and protect British values and interests internationally," Robin Niblett, chair of the British Academy inquiry steering group, said.
"If steps are not taken to reverse the current declining trend in language skills, Britain may indeed be in danger of becoming 'lost for words'."

Read more...

Languages are vital for Britain's business & cultural development

25 November 2013 (The Information Daily)

Learning different languages is vital, not just for the growth of trade and business, but for Britain's political, cultural and education development. In many European countries, it's the norm for people to speak a second or even a third language - so why is Britain so stubbornly monolingual?

The recent European Survey on Language Competences found that just one in ten British teenagers progress past the most fundamental level in a second language, compared with an average of 42 per cent across all countries surveyed.

Clearly, this is a problem - although part of the problem may be how easy it is for Brits not to learn a second language.

Read more...

Vacancy: Development Officer – International Engagement

21 November 2013 (Education Scotland/British Council)

Education Scotland and British Council Scotland are currently looking for a Development Officer on a secondment basis. Candidates should possess a degree-level qualification in teaching (or equivalent), experience of working in an international education context (including school-based programmes such as e-twinning), partnership working and delivering Curriculum for Excellence in a classroom setting. Please visit the Education Scotland vacancy webpage for further information and application details.

Read more...

In Spain, even toddlers learn Chinese for job hopes

03 November 2013 (The Journal)

“Xiang jiao! Banana!” says Fu Huijuan, beaming as she waves the fruit in front of her three-year-old pupil, Leon, at a Madrid nursery school.

He and his four classmates have barely learned to speak even in their native Spanish, but already they are absorbing Mandarin Chinese – as are many adult Spaniards concerned for their job prospects.

Read more...

I caught the language bug late but remain happily infected

18 October 2013 (The Telegraph)

This former soldier once hated learning languages – but ended up working as a translator in Brazil.

Read more...

Mind your languages! UK is warned it cannot carry on at bottom of class

18 October 2013 (The Independent)

Britons can no longer rely on the rest of the world speaking English to get by in the world of business or work, the European Education Commissioner warns.

Androulla Vassiliou cited figures which showed the UK languishing at the foot of a European languages league table - the EU had set a target of 50 per cent of people speaking two foreign languages fluently - yet in the UK only nine per cent of 15-year-olds spoke one foreign language.  That compared with more than 80 per cent of 15-year-olds in the Netherlands and Sweden, who topped the table.

Read more...

Related Links

New study abroad programme makes languages an EU priority (The Guardian, 21 October 2013)

Language graduates: what jobs are they doing now?

16 October 2013 (The Guardian)

From international aid to banking, social media and teaching, language graduates end up across all career sectors.

Read more...

Language Launchpad - Graduate Career Interviews

15 October 2013 (European Commission/ThirdYearAbroad)

The European Commission has teamed up with ThirdYearAbroad.com to interview UK language graduates and discover how their language skills have benefited their careers. 

The graduates featured in the clips have found work in business, finance, the media, the police, international development, education, sport, diplomacy and translation thanks to their language abilities and the skills developed on the year abroad.

There are fourteen two-minute video interviews, each featuring a different graduate, and one longer five-minute video summarising the key message that languages boost your career.

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Educating Yorkshire's Mr Mitchell talks MFL

3 October 2013 (Teachit Languages)

Unless you’ve been living on the moon recently, you surely can’t have escaped the media furore around Channel 4’s Educating Yorkshire. The students and staff of Dewsbury’s Thornhill Academy are keeping us entertained every Thursday…in the journalistic scoop of the century, Teachit Languages editor Heike Bruton managed to secure an interview with Thornhill Academy’s headteacher, Jonny Mitchell!

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Languages for All?

1 October 2013 (Inside Higher Ed)

The organizers of Monday's daylong "Languages For All?" conference at the University of Maryland said more than once that the event, in the words of the university's Director of Language Policy Initiatives Richard Brecht, "is not about advocacy, this is about inquiry." But it was clear that the 150 or so professors, researchers, policy makers and government employees in attendance vehemently promote at least one stance: that languages are critical, and that Americans' unwillingness and/or disinterest in learning them is holding the country back.

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Gary Lineker: Schools don't take foreign languages seriously enough

26 September 2013 (TES)

He is better known for his views on football, but former England striker and TV personality Gary Lineker has claimed foreign languages are not taken seriously enough on the national curriculum.

The host of Match of the Day was speaking to TES about the importance of learning languages for young people today, adding that it was more relevant to their every day lives than other subjects such as the sciences.

Himself a fluent Spanish speaker after a successful three-year career playing for Barcelona, Mr Lineker believes students should learn a foreign tongue because it will always be useful in later life.

Read more...

Related Links

Gary Lineker kickstarts language learning in schools (The Guardian, 26 September 2013)

Launch of Born Global: Rethinking language policy for 21st Century Britain

23 September 2013 (British Academy)

Today the British Academy launched a new policy research project, ‘Born Global’, investigating the nature and extent of language needs in the labour market and the implications for languages education from school to higher education.

As a key project in the British Academy’s language programme, the research aims to develop a deeper understanding of how language is used in the workplace for different purposes, by employees of different levels of skill and accountability. It will explore employers’ expectations of language competence and investigate the reasons for their dissatisfaction with the current language capabilities of school and college leavers and university graduates.

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Why are so few of us learning another language? Call for action by Richard Howitt MEP after decline

23 September 2013 (Cambridge News)

A call for action to reverse the “severe decline” in young people learning foreign languages has been made by Cambridgeshire’s representative in Brussels.

Richard Howitt MEP said knowledge of at least one other European language is important given that so much of the UK’s trade is done with the rest of Europe, despite English being recognised as the world language.

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Commission highlights benefits of foreign language skills for UK students and business

16 September 2013 (WiredGov)

More needs to be done to encourage British students to study languages at A Level and university, according to the European Commission. The importance of foreign language skills is self-evident in all EU countries, given that businesses increasingly operate internationally: more than half of the UK's trade is with the rest of Europe - and its businesses need staff who can speak the language of their customers. The Commission will underline this at a conference during the London Language Show next month (18 October).

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Caroline Wyatt: my career in languages

12 September 2013 (The Guardian)

The BBC defence correspondent's language skills have taken her around the world on assignment.

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Bale speaks Spanish at Real Madrid unveiling

2 September 2013 (ESPN)

New Real Madrid signing Gareth Bale showed how he had spent his summer months by speaking in Spanish during the Bernabeu unveiling to mark his world record £86 million transfer.

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Related Links

Gareth Bale must put heart and soul into Real move - Gary Lineker (BBC Sport, 1 September 2013) Lineker, who played for Barca between 1986-1989, feels that learning the language and immersing himself in the culture will be key to Bale's chances of succeeding in La Liga.

Calling all multilingual IT whizzes: skills shortage hits firms

31 August 2013 (Irish Independent)

Every year, the Government's Expert Group on Future Skills Needs publishes a snapshot of the supply and demand of skills in Ireland.

Multilingual skills are a key aspect of some of the skill shortages.

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Is only speaking English enough to compete in the jobs market?

19 July 2013 (The Guardian)

English may be a world language, but is it really enough to compete in the global job race?

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BCC: Knowledge gaps and language skills hold back exporters

10 June 2013 (British Chambers of Commerce)

A survey of more than 4,500 businesses released today (Monday) by the British Chambers of Commerce shows that the share of Chamber members which export continues to increase. However, the findings also suggest that gaps surrounding the general know-how of how to take a product or service overseas are holding back firms from taking the initial step towards exporting. In addition to this, there is a major shortfall in foreign language skills within the business community. Rebalancing the economy towards net exports is vital for the success of the UK economy, so the British Chambers of Commerce is calling for more support for firms looking to trade overseas, while encouraging the take-up of foreign languages – both in school and in the workplace.

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Related Links

Addressing knowledge gaps and the deficit in foreign language skills will boost exports (BCC, 10 June 2013)  The results of the BCC's 2013 international trade survey show that companies continue to be held back from exporting by lack of knowledge and poor foreign language skills.

Poor language skills are deal-breaker for economy, says BCC (The Times, 10 June 2013)

 

British ambassadors struggle with Arabic

31 May 2013 (The Telegraph)

Only six of the 16 British Ambassadors in the Arab world speak enough Arabic to be able to conduct official business in the language, the Foreign Office has disclosed.

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Students go abroad to immerse themselves in a new culture

14 May 2013 (The Guardian)

UK universities are setting up campuses overseas to meet international demand, but studying on a foreign campus also has many benefits for UK students.

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Inside Track: Why culinary French is no second-rate language

6 May 2013 (The Herald)

That the sous-chef currently being sought by Buckingham Palace should have a "good understanding of kitchen French" might prompt some cynics to wonder why the royal request should sound quite so disparaging. It's as though "kitchen French" is somehow less posh than classic, quite suitable for the lowly position of household cook, and therefore the only form that would be acceptable in the Queen's cuisine. The reality could not be more different.

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The Only Way is Languages – New Careers DVD

11 April 2013 (Routes into Languages)

Routes into Languages West Midlands in conjunction with Stone’s Throw Media have produced a new DVD entitled “The Only Way is Languages!” The aim of this DVD is to inspire young people to study languages at school, college and university and to get them thinking of the different kind of careers they could go into with their language skills. They may think that teaching and interpreting are the only options but we can show them many different careers! We have six case studies of real life examples of people using their language skills in the workplace.

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Languages of diplomacy - towards a fairer distribution

2 April 2013 (The Economist)

Translation and interpretation in matters of diplomacy is tricky. Language enthusiasts particularly enjoy the story of the Treaty of Wuchale, signed between Ethiopia and Italy in 1889. The text didn’t read the same in Amharic and Italian. The former guaranteed Ethiopia’s king Menelik II a good measure of autonomy in conducting foreign affairs. The latter established an Italian protectorate with no flexibility. The culprit: one verb, forming a permissive clause in Amharic and a mandatory one in Italian. Six years later, the differing interpretations led to war. Ethiopia won.
If only the Ethiopians and Italians had modern translators at their side. Treaty translation is big business today.

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The multilingual dividend

13 March 2013 (Financial Times)

A few years ago, when Antonella Sorace visited the European Central Bank in Frankfurt to talk about her research into bilingualism, she was astonished to find the bank’s multinational staff worrying about what should have been one of their families’ principal assets. “They had all kinds of doubts about the benefits of multilingualism for their children; they worried that their children weren’t learning to read or write properly – in any language,” she says. “I found it very instructive.”

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Cracking the English code

12 March 2013 (British Influence)

(Relates to England) There was much embarrassment recently for Michael Gove when the cabinet's golden boy announced that he would not, after all, be replacing GCSEs with a new English Baccalaureate Certificate (EBC). Part of the reasoning for Gove's EBC had been to increase the take-up of modern European (as well as other) languages – where research shows that there are clear advantages in terms of cognitive skills and understanding.

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What to do with your language skills?

4 March 2013 (Lexiophiles)

After spending countless hours on trying to understand grammar structures, memorizing long vocabulary lists, learning idioms and struggling with pronunciation, you have finally reached your goal: fluency! It’s been a long way and you’ve worked hard to get here. The question is, now that you've mastered a new language, what are you going to do with it?

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Commission unveils new translation engine as job cuts loom

26 February 2013 (EurActiv)

A new translation engine that can cut faster through the rarefied vocabulary of Brussels technocrats in 23 European languages will be rolled out by the European Commission in July in an effort to cut costs.

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Going Places

22 February 2013 (TESS)

Modern languages - British Airways has adapted its language test for customer-facing staff, to encourage more young people to continue with language learning.

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No comprende: are the benefits of languages getting lost in translation?

20 February 2013 (The Guardian)

We need to find new ways to express the importance of learning languages, writes Professor Nigel Vincent. At the British Academy last week we released a report called Languages: State of the Nation. It analyses the worrying state of the current demand and supply of language skills in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, and is the latest in a series of reports and position papers we have dedicated in recent years to the declining status of languages in our schools and universities. The aim of all our work is to drive home the message that languages are vital for the health and wellbeing of the education and research base, for UK business competitiveness and political standing, and for individuals and society at large.

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Bravo to EU's young translators

28 January 2013 (European Commission)

The names of the 27 winners of the European Commission’s annual EU Young Translator Juvenes Translatores contest for secondary school pupils are published today (28 January, list of winning pupils/schools below). More than 3 000 pupils from 750 schools sat the contest in November 2012. The winners – one per EU country – will be invited to an award ceremony in Brussels on 11 April to receive their prizes from Commissioner Androulla Vassiliou and will also have the chance to see the Commission's translators at work.

“The contest is an excellent way to promote language learning and translation as a possible career. Language skills are a fantastic asset: they broaden the mind and can boost employability, something which is especially important in the current economic environment," said Androulla Vassiliou, Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth.

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SCILT Vacancy - Professional Development Officer

18 January 2013 (SCILT)

Due to recent staffing changes, a vacancy for a Professional Development Officer at SCILT/CISS has arisen.

This is an exciting opportunity to work at national level and support the planning and implementation of the new “1+2” Languages Policy. The turnaround time for applications is tight – the deadline is the 28th January – and we hope to interview on the 4th or 5th February.

This post is available on secondment or as a fixed-term contract to 31st March 2015, with strong possibility of extension beyond that date.

For further details and an application pack, please visit the HR website.

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The Job Profile is Decisive – Foreign Languages in the Workplace

17 January 2013 (Goethe-Institut)

In today's professional world, knowledge of foreign languages is an indispensable skill and a must-have on any resume. Still, studies show that while good foreign language skills play an increasingly important role in the workplace, every situation is different.

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Why aren't languages a more popular choice at university?

15 January 2013 (The Independent)

It seems as if languages are not a popular choice of course at university nowadays. Once upon a time, learning a language and studying its literature was considered a solid choice of degree, but now there's a perception that they might be a bit of a waste of time.

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Accent is on language as Scots coaches prepare to start SFA’s UEFA Pro Licence course

6 January 2013 (Daily Record)

Football has become global. And Scotland’s managers are about to follow suit.

The latest candidates for the SFA’s UEFA Pro Licence will gather at Hampden today to kick off the two-year course they now need to boss at the elite level of European football.

But for the first time since the course began in 1999, candidates must learn a second language as part of their studies.

Read more...

'Speak a foreign language and secure a job here'

7 December 2012 (TESS)

The ability to speak foreign languages is not only important in finding work abroad - it is becoming ever more crucial for getting a job in Scotland.  That was one of the most compelling messages from businesswoman Rebecca Trengove, guest speaker at a languages conference in Stirling.

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Foreign languages: the 10 easiest to learn

5 December 2012 (The Telegraph)

We English speakers have a bad reputation in the world of language. According to a European Commission survey in 2012, 61 per cent of British respondents could not speak a second language. However, with growing foreign economies and more global communication than ever before, languages are becoming a crucial skill for professionals.

The related article below outlines the languages rated most useful to business by UK firm managers.  Ironically, whilst not listed as one of the easiest to learn, German language skills are the most highly sought after by UK businesses.

Read more...

Related Links

Graduate jobs: Best languages to study (The Telegraph, 2012)

Foreign languages - the 10 easiest to learn (in pictures) (The Telegraph, 5 December 2012)

Spanish trip adds spice to course

30 November 2012 (TESS)

An 'international mobility experience' served cookery and hospitality students well.

Read more...

Foreign language skills 'cost Scottish businesses'

27 November 2012 (BBC News)

A widespread lack of language skills could be damaging Scotland's ability to trade abroad, a report has suggested.  The British Council study warned there was a tendency among Scottish firms to limit their export markets to English-speaking countries.

Read more...

Related Links

Fears raised for overseas trade as young Scots shy away from studying foreign languages (The Scotsman, 27 November 2012)
A crisis in foreign language teaching across Scottish education is damaging overseas trade, the British Council warns today.

Analysis: Speaking the lingo goes to prove that it’s not only travel that broadens the mind (The Scotsman, 27 November 2012)

Leaders: Greater language skills key to breaking trade barriers (The Scotsman, 27 November 2012)

Crisis in study of languages a risk to trade (The Herald, 27 November 2012)
A lack of foreign language skills is limiting the ability of Scottish companies to tap into lucrative overseas export markets, according to a new report.

Kaye asks why Scots are so bad at learning foreign languages (Call Kaye, BBC Radio Scotland, 27 November 2012) - programme available until 3 December 2012.

Trade danger of language teaching cuts (Scottish Daily Express, 27 November 2012)

Language cuts 'will hit Scottish economy' (Morning Star, 27 November 2012)

Language Rich Europe - Scotland (British Council, 2012)

Languages and Entrepreneurship. A Guide for Students

21 November 2012 (Higher Education Academy)

The time spent studying, working or volunteering abroad during a degree programme is an excellent opportunity to identify and start up a new business. However, too few students are aware of entrepreneurship before or during their international placement.

This report shows that students who speak foreign languages, travel and understand other cultures have a unique entrepreneurial opportunity. It encourages students to look at placements abroad in a more critical and innovative way, to be aware of business opportunities and to make use of the start-up support, networks and services available when starting a business.

Read more...

Foreign Languages took pride of place at the Institute of Welsh Affairs / Western Mail Business Awards

16 November 2012 (CILT Cymru)

On Friday the 9th of November, the profile of Modern Foreign Languages was raised at the Institute of Welsh Affairs / Western Mail Business Awards.

The newly created Award, The Best Use of Foreign Languages in Business Award recognised those Welsh companies who actively use foreign languages to develop strong markets abroad.

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European personalities urge EU leaders to back Erasmus

9 November 2012 (European Commission)

More than 100 European personalities from the worlds of education, art, literature, economics, philosophy and sport have signed an open letter to EU Heads of State and Government in support of the threatened Erasmus student exchange programme. The signatories come from every Member State of the EU and include the Spanish film director Pedro Almodovar, the president of FC Barcelona Sandro Rosell, Nobel Prize winner Professor Christopher Pissarides and several Olympic champions.

Read more...

Related Links

Record Number of UK Students Study or Work Abroad in Europe with Erasmus (British Council, 16 November 2012)

A foreign language is the best way to stand out in tough job market

7 November 2012 (Business Insider)

Looking for another way to stand out in a tough job market, plus increase your competitiveness and versatility down the road in your career? If you can commit to adding one or more languages to your resume, you’ll instantly stand out from the crowd.

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