From education to employment

Bilingual Brits get ahead in career

A new study has found that being multilingual is on the rise, with more people adopting a second language in a bid to get ahead in their career.

Online language recruitment specialists, Top Language Jobs, have released their survey findings to highlight how Brits are using languages to benefit their careers. Over half of the population who speak more than one language say they use it actively in their job. With, 68% of people saying it directly benefits their career, through opportunities or even, better pay.

Globalisation is at an all-time high, the job market faces political and economic uncertainty, Brexit, and more. Languages are becoming increasingly important as the job market continues to heat up.

Older generations are in danger of being left behind as younger generations are adapting quickly to this market. 18-24-year olds are the most likely to know more than one language (66%) compared. This compared to only a quarter of the 55-64s. They believe it positively impacts their career potential, with 74% of 18-34s saying they actively use other languages in their careers (vs only 24% of 55-64s). Whilst a whopping 89% of 18-34s say that knowing more than one language benefits them in their career, double that of their older counterparts.  

Managing Director of Top Language Jobs, Alex Fourlis, encourages the trend. Fourlis comments, ‘In our careers, we are engaging with people from all around the world, from different cultures and markets. Learning a new language is a great way of expanding your appeal to employers. Our survey shows us that Brits are finding that it directly impacts their career benefits like opportunities and extra pay.’

The trend doesn’t seem to have a short shelf life either. 69% of respondents think it is more important to know multiple languages now, than it was 10 years ago. Brits expect this need to grow, with 70% saying they would encourage their children to learn another language as it could benefit their job opportunities when they were older.

The government agrees. Since 2018, the British government has reconfirmed its ambition to have 90% of British pupils sitting a GCSE in a language by 2025. It has allocated funding to set up a national languages centre, and the creation of nine school hubs to raise standards of language teaching in secondary schools. The University of York has received government funding to build England’s first modern foreign languages (MFL) centre for excellence, worth £2.17m.

So how does the standard monolingual British worker keep up?

Fourlis answers, ‘there are so many resources available to learn new languages, download an app and dedicate your commute to work everyday to learning a new language of your choice. 62% of our respondents said they would consider learning a new language if they knew it would increase their earning potential – and it can! Not only can it benefit your career in England, but you never know where it could take you globally.’

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