The 2017 CBI/Pearson Education and Skills Survey: Helping the UK Thrive, surveys UK employers on their employability and skills needs. Among other things, the survey asks employers about their levels of satisfaction, and their demand, for international cultural awareness, and foreign language skills amongst graduates. You can access the report here.
International cultural awareness
The report finds that, in 2017, 39% of employers were dissatisfied with graduates' international cultural awareness, up from 30% the previous year (although down from 43% in 2015).
The report also finds that 47% of employers were dissatisfied with graduates' foreign language skills, a decrease on 2016 (48%), and 2015 (54%). In the same time, their dissatisfaction with the foreign language skills of school and college leavers has risen (in 2017 66% of employers were dissatisfied with these skills).
As in 2014, 2015 and 2016, French, German and Spanish continue to be the European languages most in demand - rated as useful to their business by 51%, 47% and 45% of employers.
Although demand, and the level of dissatisfaction, with graduate foreign language skills are high, only 5% of employers rated language skills as the most important factors when recruiting graduates, up from 2% in 2016 and from 4% in 2014 and 2015.
Image: Front cover of the CBI/Pearson Education and Skills Survey 2017: Helping the UK Thrive