International entrepreneurs of the future were encouraged to develop their language skills at a seminar held in a Birmingham school.
Students from King Edward’s School, Birmingham, and King Edward VI High School for Girls heard about the importance of multilingual communications from Regional Language Network manager Chris Everall, who told of her time working in Germany.
“I’ve found being able to speak another language alongside having general business skills enormously enriching - it’s given me some great opportunities. I would really encourage others to continue with languages if they have the chance.”
Pupil Mark Heath, founder of the modern languages society, said: “It was great to see so many here. I hope listening to Chris’s experiences will help convince those who are thinking of giving up languages to push on and perhaps study them at A Level and beyond.”
The seminar was organised as part of the Business Language Champions programme, which is designed to reverse the decline in the uptake of languages in schools.
Multilingual business people visit schools to talk about the benefits of speaking another language, and tell of the problems local companies have in recruiting staff who can operate in an international environment.
Earlier this year, the number of pupils at The Coleshill School opting for German GCSE doubled after visiting the Hams Hall BMW engine plant. The Business Language Champions programme has previously invited international businessmen, translators and import-export specialists to address students.