Employees learning English
Aug 19 2016

Employers: How Can Learning English Bridge the Skills Gap?

How far should a business have to look to find employees with the right skills that it requires to grow and thrive? We live in a modern, joined-up world, so there is no reason why employers should not look as far afield as is necessary when it comes to recruitment for highly skilled positions.

The CBI’s annual survey of 500 employers has found that in 2016, 69% of them worry that they will be unable to fill highly skilled job vacancies. This can impact on both growth and competitiveness.

One impediment to taking on overseas employees to fill this skill gap is the language barrier.  If people are not fluent in English, both written and spoken, it can detract from their core skills elsewhere. After all, two of the key qualities the CBI survey highlights as being in demand are aptitude and attitude.


Considerations for Learning English

It is often the case that employers look for a clear demonstration of resourcefulness from prospective candidates. An overseas candidate with limited English is likely to find this more difficult. However, a clear indicator of resourcefulness is the candidates willingness to consider learning English in a friendly but disciplined, professional context.

Employers themselves might also consider how they can help this process by sponsoring and supporting employees from overseas in improving their English skills in order to better serve the business.

Resourcefulness can cut both ways.


Opportunities for Improvement

Just as there is a potential global market for trade, with all the opportunities it offers, so there is also a global market for a skilled workforce.

The UK skills gap is real.  Sponsorship, training and other initiatives may help address this domestically.  The need for more rapid solutions is likely to increase for those businesses growing and competing in turbulent times.

English teaching and tutoring aimed at businesses and their employees has a crucial role to play in helping to plug the skills gap and help companies develop wider-reaching, successful employment strategies.

Your English Lounge specialises in intensive, accessible, one-to-one English courses aimed at individuals and businesses wishing to make more of their opportunities.  To find out more, please contact us.

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