While your five year old is watching Paw Patrol or complaining about being bored in the summer holidays, it’s hard to imagine that one day they’ll be looking for a rewarding career in a job market that will be hard to define.
A Press Association report just released shows a dramatic decline in applications for language degrees at UK universities. It doesn’t come as a surprise to us at Speak Like A Native that approximately 25,000 people studied European languages in 2007 and only 17,000 enrolled in 2017.
Mark Herbert, director of schools at the British Council explains the effects of this.
“We need to nurture a new generation of fluent speakers, particularly in important languages such as Spanish, Mandarin, Arabic, French and German, which our analysis shows will be crucial for the UK’s success post-Brexit.
“Having language skills and an understanding of other cultures gives graduates an advantage in the labour market, particularly when they are competing against people from other parts of the world who often speak excellent English – and have several other languages too.”
Unfortunately, we do not see any great signs of political will or investment to change this. This means that languages are becoming less and less important and in 20 years’ that five year old will discover that many opportunities are closed to them.
As Stuart Rubenstein, Managing Director of Speak Like A Native says.
“Developing language skills takes time so start your children now and let them enjoy the benefits later.”