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Wanted: Mandarin speakers for British firms

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As the business world becomes increasingly global, companies are looking for people with skills to help them grow within new markets.

A report by the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) found firms are keeping an eye out for employees who are able to speak foreign languages, including French (50%), German (49%), Spanish (44%), Mandarin (31%) and Arabic (23%).

“With the EU still our largest export market, it’s no surprise to see German, French and Spanish language skills so highly prized by companies,” Katja Hall, CBI’s deputy director general, told BBC.

“But with China and Latin America seeing solid growth, ambitious firms want the language skills that can smooth the path into new markets.”

The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) survey also found 41% of companies believe fluency in a foreign language was a beneficial skill, with 28% believing it would help build strong relations with overseas contacts.

Other languages  also in demand are Polish (19%), Russian (18%), Cantonese (16%) and Japanese (15%).

Image: Shutterstock


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