Year abroad must be saved if UK is to remain major force
Year abroad must be saved if UK is to remain major force in global market
With news that the Government may no longer be able to fund the placement scheme for undergraduates studying abroad, the UK is in danger of developing a real language skill shortage that could compromise its position as an international business leader. That is the warning from multilingual recruiter Euro London Appointments.
The recruiter has seen a significant fall in fluency levels among language graduates over the past five years, largely down to a decrease in the number of people taking a year abroad. It warns that this threat of funding cuts combined with rising University fees and fewer young people studying languages now that they are no longer compulsory, will lead to the problem worsening, causing a severe lack of language talent in the UK.
With the UK operating in an increasingly global marketplace, employers need people that can communicate effectively with others around the globe says Eileen Sudmann, a Manager at Euro London. Not only does that require strong language ability, but also good cultural knowledge, and the year abroad is crucial in providing students with both of these skills. However increasing costs and student debt mean that many arent willing or financially able to take advantage of the experience. The UK needs to try and preserve the year abroad if it wants to remain competitive.
She adds, Its understandable that students may be scared to put what they have learnt in the classroom into practice, or that they want to avoid the year abroad so they can graduate as quickly as possible. However the best way of securing the top jobs and start paying off those debts is to take full advantage of the year abroad to really boost their employability. Language speakers dont realise how in demand they are!