From education to employment

CILT Call for Business to Play Greater Part in Putting Language on the Menu

According to a statement issues by the National Centre for Languages (CILT), languages must be brought into the vocational curriculum; and employers must use their influence to make sure that this happens.

Speaking on the subject, the Director of CILT Isabella Moore referred to the statements made earlier this year by Sir Digby Jones, the Director General of the Confederation for British Industry (CBI) who stated that languages are crucially important for the future success of the British economy. She said she hoped that the CBI’s Conference’s theme of “the Future of Europe will give business cause for reflection on how it can help drive the campaign to improve the language skills of the UK workforce.”

Vital for Skills

Isabella Moore continued on the theme of language skills saying: “Languages for 14-19-year-olds are at a critical juncture and these young people need concrete examples of the practical advantages of language skills in their future careers.” She reiterated her call for businesses to be more involved in the ongoing campaign for better language training and funding for the courses, saying: “Greater provision needs to be made for languages in vocational training, with business driving demand through the expectation of equal skills sets from UK nationals and their European counterparts.”

The CILT is the Government’s recognised centre for expertise in languages. It aims to promote and support the national capacity in languages. It supports and engages in development projects concerning multilingualism and improving the intercultural competence in all sectors of society. It is a key partner in the implementation of any new national languages strategies, and represents Britain in the unfolding vista of the international languages agenda.

Showcasing Progress

Isabella Moore also spoke of the successful programmes that she hopes will see business working even more closely with the Education sector: “Over the past two years the 14-19 Black Country Pathfinder has been working with schools, further education, training providers and employers to develop workable vocational models for language post-14. I hope that these models”¦ will encourage more employers to work with the education sector to improve prospects for the workforce of tomorrow.”

She also stated that British companies have yet to realise the full importance of language training, unlike some other competitors: “Research to be published next month highlights British companies” complacency towards languages skills compared to attitudes in France and Germany.” She concluded by pointing the way forward: “Employers need to develop business strategies which incorporate a policy on the recruitment and development of staff with language skills if they are to remain competitive.”

Jethro Marsh

Speaking in tongues, or clearly articulated? Tell us if language skills are good or bad in the FE Blog

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