On November 17, the Council of the European Union issued conclusions on language competences to enhance mobility. In the document the Council not only addresses multilingualism for jobs mobility but also mentions the importance to foster better use of language competences as a mean of increasing the competitiveness of EU business, and especially that of small and medium-sized enterprises. In this context, the Council welcomes the work of the Business Platform for Multilingualism of which EMF is a member of the Steering Committee, and invites the European Commission to further pursue its support and stakeholder initiatives of this kind.
John Longworth, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce comments that « a skilled workforce is fundamental to every successful business in the UK, and developing the capability of our workforce is crucial for economic growth and international competitiveness. Our members recognise the importance of investing in skills and training, even when times are financially hard. Even though the businesses that we surveyed are keen to recruit new staff members and expand, a lack of appropriate skills within the labour pool is limiting business growth. »
Researchers found that thousands of young people arrive at interviews without the « vital employability skills » required by employers such as having a suitable grasp of English, being punctual and having a general « can do » attitude.
Young Enterprise charity chairman Ian Smith said that the situation is getting worse because the Department for Education is adopting an alarmingly narrow focus on academic skills and exams.