German overtakes French as most sought-after second language
Zut alors! German overtakes French as the most sought-after second language for employers
- Vacancies for German speakers were up by 11.6 percent according to Indeed
- Those for French speakers were up just 1 percentage point from 2016
- But fewer pupils than ever are taking GCSE and A-level exams for languages
- Indeed say this is creating a ‘perfect storm’ as fewer EU nationals are migrating
German has overtaken French as the most valued second-language for employers, a study has found.
Job vacancies for German speakers rose by 11.6 percent for the last three years while those for French speakers went up by just 1 percent, listings agency Indeed revealed.
However, fewer pupils are taking German GCSE than in years before, so much so that some schools have dropped it from the curriculum entirely.
The Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Germany is lit with green lights after Earth Hour on March 30, 2019
Indeed said the findings showed the problem the UK faces with a rising need for linguists but fewer on the market, the Times reported.
The most popular language A-level was Chinese and Indeed’s figures showed demand for employees able to speak it was up by 35.4 percent since 2016.
Another language making strides was Italian, with a 17.7 percent increase in relevant job vacancies.
German had 1,221 job postings per million, French, 1,152; Chinese, 643; Spanish, 567; and Italian, 531.
Indeed’s managing director Bill Richards told the Times: ‘For the past three years, German and French have jostled for the crown of the most in-demand spoken language in UK job titles, and one of the reasons for this lies in the economic ties between the UK and Germany and France.
‘In 2016 Germany was the fourth-highest inward investor in the UK and in the same year, exports from the UK to Germany were the second highest behind the USA.
‘The UK also imports more from Germany than any other EU country.’
Mr Richards said there was a ‘perfect storm’ brewing with fewer linguists emerging from British schools and Brexit turning away potential employees on the continent.
An aerial view taken on March 12, 2019 in Paris shows a view of the Elysee Palace and the Eiffel Tower in the distance
Last year the number of pupils taking GCSE German exams was down by nearly a third from 2013, the Times reported, and a similar number had stopped sitting French exams.
Meanwhile, Spanish was up four percent and Chinese up by ten points.
Compounding the dearth of foreign language speakers are Office of National Statistics figures which say net migration from the EU is at its lowest in a decade.
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