Will You Take a Czech!
Thus read a headline in a national newspaper earlier this week. These new taxi drivers from the Czech Republic are not only learning English, before they come to the UK, but 'The Knowledge' too, the 'bible' for taxi drivers. Are the British cabbies at home learning Czech or French or German?
This is one phenomenon of the expanded EU, people moving all around Europe, working and living away from their homelands. The UK's shortage of skilled workers is acute, we won't speculate on the reasons - the fact is that many of our skilled workers have gone somewhere else. The EU is becoming more and more inter-national just like that traditional melting pot for all comers from all lands - the USA.
The team at language jobs have known for a while, that this trend of incoming foreign workers would grow and that the demand for multilingual speakers would expand and so it has over the last 30 years. The lines of communication between the UK and EU countries are becoming stronger largely because these new employees can speak at least two languages, English and their own.
Sadly the focus of our schools has largely omitted the teaching of another language, apart from English. If only we learned two languages, as a matter of course as in much of Europe. Furthermore in the US where some Spanish and other language speakers have rebelled and refused to learn American (English), many Americans are now learning second languages. Perhaps our educators should take note!
For many jobs, where the employee is dealing with two or more countries, the issues go deeper than just speaking more than one language - it is the requirement to comprehend and adapt to other business cultures. Communication is vital on more than simply the linguistic level.
Unfortunately there are still so called enlightened business environments in some EU countries, where women working in positions higher than support or back office staff are the exception not the rule. Thankfully in the UK this is not the case and we are more advanced than many of our overseas business partners. We are not racist, sexist or ageist in these islands and there are many opportunities for multilingual speakers. We are open and enthusiastic about talent and are quick to recognize and nurture it. We are a country that has broken down barriers and invited our European cousins to come and work with us.
This position will not be reversed now nor changed and we should be thankful for it and enjoy our opportunities for
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jane Merrow is the owner of www.languagejobs4u.com, a multilingual jobsite offering Recruiters and multilingual Jobseekers the opportunity to find each other online. She has many years’ experience in the multilingual recruitment area.