Just 9% of pupils in schools in England had a basic mastery of French, which is the most commonly taught language in high schools. This compares with an average of 42% in schools across Europe.
Baroness Coussins, who is chair of the All Parliamentary Language Group told Unique Languages:-
"The UK economy is already losing around £50bn a year in lost contracts because of a lack of language skills in the workforce.
And we aren't just talking about high-flyers:
She added that: ‘The next government will need to take clear, urgent and coherent action to upgrade the UK’s foreign language skills. Otherwise our young people will continue to fall behind their European and global peers in education and employability;
The Government responded by saying that "we are making it compulsory for children to learn a foreign language from age seven to 14, a move supported by 91% of respondents to our consultation on languages in primary schools."
Unique Languages Response
A spokesperson for Unique Languages responded to the report by saying that it was nothing that had not been heard before: "We spend so much time seeking to persuade businesses of the benefits of language training. We are happy to work with business and the government to get students fluent in foreign languages, but it needs strong and consistent investment and until organisations see that, then the British economy will continue to lose these lucrative contracts."
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