Billions of pounds are lost to the economy each year because of a lack of investment in language learning, a Welsh academic said yesterday.
A report by Professor James Foreman-Peck, of Cardiff Business School, said that investing more in teaching foreign languages to improve people’s ability to speak French, Spanish or German would save businesses £9bn a year.
That is the economic equivalent of a tax reduction on exports of at least 3%.
Language skills are shown to be closely related to the export ability of firms and national economies. And Prof Foreman-Peck said under-investment in languages is leaving the UK and its businesses at a significant disadvantage.