The five business languages most in demand in the UK are French, German, Spanish, Italian and Dutch, but there is also an increasing demand for Arabic, Japanese, Mandarin/Cantonese, Portugese and Russian. Within the public sector a different range of language is needed to offer a better service to the local communities, such as the British Sign Language, Gujurati, Hindi, Punjabi, Swahili, Urdu and Welsh.
Most jobs which require language skills are based in London and the South East. London is becoming a centre of interpretation and translation skills. Organisations that are more likely to encourage language use are often, foreign owned, multi-national or internationally networked, serving local communities, exporting or importing goods and web-based.
3.2% of all jobs require explicit knowledge of a foreign language. Various employers have specifically come to the UK to recruit young people with language skills e.g. The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, Air France and Delta Airways.