Learning Mandarin gives school leavers a career advantage

Results of a new survey of British business leaders show that 77 per cent believe speaking Mandarin Chinese will give school leavers a career advantage over their counterparts.

Learning Mandarin gives school leavers a career advantage
In a survey of 1,000 senior business decision makers by YouGov for the British Council’s Mandarin Excellence Programme, more than three quarters of respondents said that speaking a high level of Mandarin would be beneficial to school pupils in their future careers.

Mandarin Chinese: important for British businesses

On average, 28 per cent thought that the advantage would be ‘significant’ – with this rising to 31 per cent amongst those working for companies with an annual turnover of £10 million or more.While 69 per cent of those surveyed felt that Mandarin Chinese skills, particularly speaking abilities, would be important for British business and the economy in future, 66 per cent said that it was currently difficult to recruit fluent speakers from within the UK workforce.When asked about language learning more widely, 82 per cent agreed that language teaching in schools “should reflect important potential growth markets for British trade and business”.

Striving for fluency through the Mandarin Excellence Programme

School standards minister, Nick Gibb, said, “This research shows that young people fluent in Mandarin will be at a significant advantage when competing for jobs with their peers from around the world. That is why we introduced the Mandarin Excellence Programme, which is on track to have 5,000 pupils fluent in Mandarin by 2020. The enthusiasm and energy that both pupils and teachers are committing to this programme is inspiring, and will help Britain to compete in an increasingly global economy.”The Mandarin Excellence Programme, delivered by the UCL Institute of Education in partnership with the British Council, aims to see at least 5,000 young people in England on track towards fluency in Mandarin by 2020.
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Recent British Council research has found that Mandarin will be the most important non-European language to the UK post-Brexit – and second only to Spanish overall. The new survey aims to understand more about the language needs of British businesses, with a particular focus on Mandarin.“Learning a country’s language connects you to its people and culture – a benefit which lasts a lifetime,” said Mark Herbert, head of schools programmes at the British Council.“Everyone in the UK who learns some Mandarin builds another link between us and China, building greater mutual understanding and trust between our countries – the absolute bedrock of business, trade and prosperity for both nations in the future.”Secondary schools in England can find out more about the Mandarin Excellence Programme – including funding – and apply to join from September 2018 hereFor related news and features, visit our Education Schools section. Relocate’s new Global Mobility Toolkit provides free information, practical advice and support for HR, global mobility managers and global teams operating overseas.Global Mobility Toolkit download factsheets resource centreAccess hundreds of global services and suppliers in our Online DirectoryClick to get to the Relocate Global Online Directory