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|Languages for enhanced opportunities on the labour market|
Over the past few years, the European labour market has generally been affected, and continues to be so, by the impact of wide movements and changes, including the expansion of the EU by 12 new member countries and the rapid changes in economic and other conditions, usually labelled the consequences of globalisation. This is also, and perhaps even more so than in many other areas, the case in the area of languages.
More sectors are characterised by less permanence in employment and more flexible working patterns, including increasing requirements for geographical mobility, and a subsequent need for re-training and upskilling. For university graduates this may often lead to a need for conversion to new fields, and with that, a need for new, more or better language skills and intercultural competences.
Sub-project 2 of TNP3 has focused on ‘measuring’, describing and analysing these developments and trends in the area of languages through intensive collaboration between the university sector and non-university stakeholders, i.e. representatives of employers, employers associations, students and student associations.
Results so far are a much clearer picture of what is needed in terms of curriculum reform at universities with a view to fulfilling the needs of the labour market, and a more common language for describing levels of competence in a life-long learning perspective among university as well as non-university stakeholders.
The actual languages required are conditioned by the specific professional requirements and the work in question. It is clear that while English is increasingly used as a means of communication in multinational corporations, English on its own is inadequate to meet the needs of business and other professional activities, the use of the client language being crucial to satisfactory outcomes.
With Europe’s recent expansion to 27 member countries and with Europe’s ambitions for leadership in the global economy, language and intercultural competences remain crucial for Europe’s future prosperity and cooperation – internally and externally.
For further information, please go to the Documents section.
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