Speaking to a Global Future: The Increasing Value of Language and Culture to British Business Post-Brexit
This chapter shows how detailed fieldwork with businesses has revealed a complex relationship with languages. It is based on the findings of the Born Global project, a British Academy project on language skills for employability, trade and business. It examines the changing business landscape of the UK and reports employer concern over the lack of language skills amongst current and prospective employees. Poor language skills cost the UK some 3.5% of GDP and act like a ‘tax on growth’ for small to medium-size exporters. A variety of steps are required to put the UK in a stronger position to overcome the language deficit, involving government, businesses, educators and students. Britain must now begin to redefine itself. It must review its business strategy and reassess its core values and beliefs, developing a global mindset and equipping itself to communicate effectively in English and in other languages.