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Languages National Training Organisation launches European Year of Languages


The European Year of Languages has been officially launched in the UK by the Languages National Training Organisation.

Businesses were invited along to a launch event in London on 5 April to listen to Richard Caborn MP, Minister for Trade tell his audience that "There is a general rule of thumb, probably existing since the earliest days of international trading, that selling is most effectively carried out in the customer's language...the consequence of this is that language popularity will tend to follow markets: 'the merchant speaks the customer's language'".

Other speakers continued the theme by discussing their experiences of developing language skills for business. They included Rob Lund, Director of Leeds Bradford International Airport and two BMW apprentices studying German.

The government minster added that government departments were working hard to address the issues raised in last year's Nuffield report, which stated that the UK workforce suffers from a chronic shortage of people with usable language skills, and this puts workers at a disadvantage in the jobs market.

A number of events have been organised to support the European Year of Languages in the UK. Businesses are being encouraged to take up the 'Languages Challenge' by encouraging employees to be sponsored to learn a language. More information on this year's initiatives is available at


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