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May 1 12

CareerBuilder Acquires Top Language Jobs, Continues European Expansion

by admin

CHICAGO, April 25, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — CareerBuilder, the leader in human capital solutions, continues to grow its European business with the acquisition of Top Language Jobs (TLJ), the leading global online jobsite for multi-language jobs and candidates.  TLJ operates more than 40 sites in 25 countries across Europe and in the U.S. The primary sitewww.toplanguagejobs.co.uk can also be accessed by using the .com domain.

Language skills are in demand worldwide.  According to data from TLJ, job postings requiring multiple language skills continue to increase across Europe with over 120,000 job listings in France, the U.K. and Germany alone — and more than 200,000 in total. In the U.S., there are more than 180,000 job listings with a language skills requirement.

“Entering the ever-growing global language jobs market presents a strategic opportunity for CareerBuilder since many companies today rely on multilingual workers as they expand into new economies,” said Tony Roy, President of CareerBuilder EMEA. “It gives our clients access to a new diverse pool of bilingual and multilingual job seekers to fill their open positions. Job seekers, in turn, are able to explore opportunities in markets around the world.”

According to a 2007 Nielsen Report, more than $83 billion is spent by consumers every year to acquire language skills. TLJ allows customers and candidates to search from 72 primary languages and hundreds of dialects worldwide.

“The acquisition is not only exciting for Top Language Jobs, but for linguistic professionals across the globe,” said Aytac Irfan, Managing Director of TLJ. “The increasing demand for multilingual talent, coupled with the CareerBuilder network acrossEurope and in the U.S., will add a plethora of new opportunities for job seekers looking to use their language skills.”

CareerBuilder operates in 21 markets outside the U.S. and, through partnerships, has a presence in more than 60 markets worldwide.

About Top Language Jobs

Top Language Jobs is Europe’s No. 1 specialist language recruitment job portal.  They operate the largest global network ofJob Boards dedicated to multilingual job seekers looking for work internationally.  Top Language Jobs works with the world’s top employers offering them a platform to advertise their vacancies in 23 European Countries, United States, and Canada.  Their Career Fair Division also operates the largest specialist multilingual career fairs in 10 locations across Europe.  They have over 300,000 unique visitors, 8,000 job opportunities listed, and 345,000 registered users.

About CareerBuilder®

CareerBuilder is the global leader in human capital solutions, helping companies target and attract their most important asset – their people. Its online career site, CareerBuilder.com®, is the largest in the United States with more than 24 million unique visitors, 1 million jobs and 45 million resumes. CareerBuilder works with the world’s top employers, providing resources for everything from employment branding and data analysis to recruitment support. More than 10,000 websites, including 140 newspapers and broadband portals such as MSN and AOL, feature CareerBuilder’s proprietary job search technology on their career sites. Owned by Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE: GCI), Tribune Company and The McClatchy Company (NYSE: MNI), CareerBuilder and its subsidiaries operate in the United States, Europe, South America, Canada and Asia. For more information, visit www.careerbuilder.com.

Media Contact:

CareerBuilder
Michael Erwin
+1-773-527-3637
Michael.erwin@careerbuilder.com
http://www.twitter.com/CareerBuilderPR

Jan 9 12

French speaking Executive Assistant based in Valais, Switzerland

by admin

Our client is looking for an experienced Executive Assistant for a family office in the Valais.  Salary is excellent £80-100K Swiss Francs depending on experience.

Description:

Main Functions:

General Office Management

  • Handle daily administrative activities such as correspondence, mail, phone calls, reception, courier etc
  • Negotiate and manage all related suppliers including office equipment and supplies, courier services, travel and hotels, cleaning contractor etc
  • Assist colleagues with itineraries and visas for business travel
  • Manage office expenses and invoices
  • Main contact for IT issues and support, coordinate adhoc projects (as approved by Principal), ensure any issues with email or Blackberry devices are dealt with and resolved immediately

Support to the Principal

  • Handle incoming calls to the office for the Principal
  • Maintain record system of all business and personal contacts for the Principal
  • Plan itineraries, including international travel arrangements for Principal and family, i.e. flights and accommodations, medical appointments, business meetings and social events keeping an up-to-date diary and ensuring regular communication of appointments
  • Administration of personal assets including real estate, vehicles, yachts, mobile phone and iPad etc maintaining records and payments for insurance, repairs and maintenance, rent, annual fees, budgets etc
  • Detailed administration for the aircraft including tracking of location, invoices, maintenance, insurance, annual fees, point of contact for all queries.
  • Maintenance of credit cards, loyalty programs, memberships, donation program
  • Collect proof of travel documentations
  • Miscellaneous personal requests 

Human Resources

  • Provide support in relation with new or potential hires (travel and accommodation bookings for interviews, preparation of their workspace, IT login, update internal phone lists)
  • Assist new arrival with work permit, bank account and accommodation as requested.
  • Coordinate induction of all newly hired staff, helping them integrate into their new position/ environment comfortably
  • Assist with the preparation of work contracts and ensure compliance with Swiss work laws

The ideal candidate will have:

  • Minimum 3 years of experience as a Personal/Executive Assistant
  • Given the nature of the office the candidate needs to be highly flexible and adaptable to any number of different tasks, an ability to multitask and deliver on numerous projects in tandem is a must
  • A self confident personality, dynamic, curious and proactive
  • Ability to anticipate and solve problems
  • Ability to remain calm in a stressful situation
  • Bilingual in French and English, Italian would be a plus
  • Given the importance of cost management excel skills and attention to detail are key requirements for this role
  • Some book keeping knowledge would be an advantage
Please forward your CV to enquiries@promolingua.com
Dec 12 11

Britain losing battle for talent

by admin

 

Latest research on executive talent flow between countries highlights the continuing trend of ‘brain drain’ from the UK.

Britain losing battle for talent

MUNICH — Over the past year, 26% of UK executive job changers chose to move to a different country, a 6% increase from 2009. This number compares starkly with emigration rates of only 7-8% in Germany, Italy and Spain, the countries with the lowest propensity to relocate. Britain is now the second biggest exporter of senior talent after central and eastern Europe.

This is one of the key findings of the 3rd edition of Talent Mapping research from international online career and recruitment service Experteer. Of its members, over 70,000 senior-level professionals changed jobs in the 12 months leading up through the first quarter of 2011. Almost one-sixth (15.6%) of these job changers took up a new position in a different country, representing a small drop from 2008-09 levels (17%) but a notable rise on 2007/08 (13.5%). International job changers within this group totaled 11,188, with 7.2% originating from the UK.

So what has contributed to the UK trend over the past two years? Clearly the continuing impact of economic recession on the domestic job market has played a part. There are also emerging threats to living standards from public sector spending cuts plus the introduction in 2010 of the 50p top personal tax rate for those earning over GBP150,000 (EUR170,000) a year. The result has been to make the UK less attractive to high-calibre talent and, perhaps, more importantly, less competitive internationally.

Seeking greener pastures

Of UK senior talent who secured employment abroad, the first choice was Germany. Interestingly, the second largest group chose to migrate farther abroad, beyond Europe. France was the third most popular destination.

Switzerland – for the third time running – achieved the highest net gain in imported senior-level professionals of just over 50%. It is the most popular destination country for executives from Germany, France and from outside Europe. On the other hand, the UK suffered a net loss of 15%; of those executives who chose to move here, almost one-third were from outside Europe.

Movement between neighboring countries remains most prevalent. Common language skills as well as proximity to home countries no doubt influence this pattern. Remuneration differences continue to have less influence, but average salaries of international movers are notably higher in Germany and Switzerland than in other Experteer-monitored countries. The largest disparity between highest and lowest earners is found in the UK.

Dec 12 11

UK: Vince Cable speech – International skills – British Council

by admin

If we think purely in vocational terms, a national strategy in China has recently identified the need to establish a network of 1,200 training centres by 2020, and to train 3.5 million more technicians. In India – where they estimate that, by 2022, 90 per cent of new jobs will require qualified staff – the target is to add 500 million skilled workers to the Indian labour force.

These are massive numbers – difficult to conceive. WorldSkills 2011 – held here in London – provides a more tangible example. There were more than 50 countries represented at the competition: from Estonia to Malaysia, Colombia to Australia, Ireland to Iran. It proved that nations of all kinds are engaged in boosting the skills of their people – to increase commercial success and promote economic competitiveness as well as knowledge and study for its own sake. By that I mean the self-confidence and self-worth that individuals derive from becoming competent in almost any kind of new pursuit – a reason why the Government has protected the budget for informal adult learning.

One consequence of this global demand is that China, India and the like represent a vast market in which our further education colleges should compete. Plenty of colleges already have the experience of creating bespoke training alongside employers. They’re well versed in new technologies and distance learning. Accordingly, the Government is stepping up its efforts to support further education as an export, as well as higher education.

The globalisation of HE is relatively more advanced, of course, and it’s one in which UK universities have a played a prominent part – whether judged on the popularity of this country among both foreign students and academics, the high proportion of UK research which involves international collaboration, or the efforts of UK institutions to create satellite campuses around the world. Last year, indeed, there were more than 400,000 students living in their home countries who were enrolled on UK HE programmes – more than the number studying in the UK. And where our so-called trans-national education exports were worth around £210 million in 2009/10, that could grow to an estimated £850 million by 2025.

The international focus of our universities is important, and the Government is supporting it by forging links with the HE systems of countries like Indonesia and Brazil, as well as China and India. It’s an agenda in which the British Council has a pivotal role – as I’ve seen for myself on a number of overseas visits including each of those four countries. Besides its specific help in, say, establishing hundreds of partnerships between UK universities and businesses and their Indian counterparts, I gratefully acknowledge the Council’s contribution to attracting international students to the UK and helping people to learn English.

But I return to my point about expanding the influence of our skills sector. The UK India Education and Research Initiative, for instance, includes an agreement to help the Indian government develop its skills infrastructure. And we are working with our Chinese colleagues to help them develop an apprenticeships programme in China. John Hayes, the Skills Minister, returned from China today having led a UK delegation to discuss this very subject.

From a more domestic perspective, meanwhile, we’re working to ensure that FE colleges offering quality provision can – just like universities – attract and benefit from international students.

This is critical. The HE sector generates annual exports worth £7.9 billion; FE contributes an additional £1.1 billion. It is vital – notwithstanding the need to prevent any abuse of our immigration system – to continue attracting overseas students to the UK. This is a market in which we excel, thanks to the global standing of our colleges and universities. And it’s a market that’s growing. Some years back, the British Council estimated that the number of HE students physically studying outside their country of citizenship could rise to 5.8 million by 2020.

The outside world should know that our academic institutions and our Government welcome genuine international students, and are planning for long term growth. There is no visa limit on the number of overseas students who are eligible to study here. The recent immigration reforms are designed to cut out the bogus applicants and poor quality colleges which have damaged the reputation of the sector; they are certainly not designed to undermine legitimate and quality colleges.

Of course, international students are not generally thought of by the public as immigrants, as a recent report from the Migration Observatory at Oxford University illustrates. During their studies, international students enhance the campus experience of their UK-born colleagues. After graduation and upon returning home, the great majority remain keen supporters of this country, maintaining the kinds of strong links that are good for business, as well as fruitful cultural and political interaction.

At the same time, we have worked with the Home Office so that reforms of the visa system take into account the needs of the research community. Under Tier 1, scientists of exceptional talent and achievement will be able to come to the UK without a job offer – their merits assessed not by government officials, but by the learned societies. And under Tier 5, the Government has enabled universities to be allowed to expand the terms of their Government Authorised Exchange Schemes.

As part of the Growth Review, we also announced our intention to maximise education export opportunities in the priority markets of Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Turkey and the Gulf. The recent agreement with Brazil to accept 10,000 students to study STEM subjects in the UK is a signal of intent – and I congratulate Universities UK for negotiating this deal on behalf of our HE sector.

There’s another way, though, in which the UK should be thinking carefully about international skills. In this case, the task is making sure that UK companies have people with the linguistic ability, overseas experience and cultural awareness necessary to do business abroad, to attract inward investment, to export goods and services. That, in fact, is the blueprint for sustainable economic growth.

But how well equipped are we to do this in a world where – for all the assumptions about English remaining its lingua franca – just six per cent of the global population speak English as a first language? Indeed, while 51 per cent of internet use was conducted in English in 2001 – against just five per cent in Chinese – the figures for 2009 were 29 per cent in English and 20 per cent in Chinese.

The simple answer is that this is nowhere near good enough. The report from the British Council and Think Global is instructive. UK business leaders have said that, unless young people are encouraged to broaden their horizons, the UK risks falling behind. These employers deem knowledge and awareness of the wider world more important when recruiting than degree subject and classification. In fact, businesses for whom trade with people from other cultures is all important are finding it hard to recruit staff – confirming an earlier survey by the CBI.

The underlying causes aren’t hard to fathom. Universities UK recently estimated the number of UK students studying abroad at 33,000. While more than in the past, this is low by international standards. Between 1975 and 2006, the mobility of our students increased 33 per cent. For the US, it was 40 percent; for France, 492 per cent. And that 33,000 is dwarfed by the more than 400,000 foreign students studying full-time at the UK’s own universities.

It’s here that further research conducted on behalf of the British Council is particularly useful, because it establishes some reasons why UK undergraduates are not spreading their wings to the same extent as young people from other countries. The basic picture chimes with previous evidence on barriers around language and cost.

But there are also some surprising insights. Science students appear to be less outward-looking than those studying arts subjects – perhaps because a greater number of compulsory modules can make going abroad more complicated. Of broader concern is the finding that even those who gain international experience often fail to appreciate how this actually enhances their employability. And yet a HEFCE study has concluded that 75 per cent of Erasmus students obtain a first or a 2.i compared to 60 per cent of students who do not study abroad – and that Erasmus students are more likely to be in employment six months after graduating, earning more than their peers. For some, the fact that six per cent of participants on the Language Assistants programme met their life partner while overseas could be an even stronger selling point; it’s certainly something that I can relate to having happily married my late wife in East Africa while working overseas.

Clearly, we have work to do communicating more effectively the benefits of going abroad – not only for language students and not only through formal programmes. Spending a short, constructive, period abroad, perhaps during the summer break, can have a significant effect on people. We need to remember, too, that our domestic student population is diverse. Just two fifths of applicants to full-time undergraduate courses are 18 – most are adults. So we require some creative ideas to open up opportunities for those with parental or caring responsibilities, and for those from less advantaged backgrounds.

Now, I’m not suggesting that nothing of this kind isn’t already in place. Besides managing the Erasmus programme and the Language Assistants programme for the UK, the British Council – for example – is part of the International Association for the Exchange of Students for Technical Experience. It helps undergraduates studying science, engineering and applied arts to gain practical training in more than 85 countries.

At the same time, mobility is a key strand of the UK India Education and Research Initiative. Under its auspices, UK students visit India for three weeks to learn about the country. Last year, 1,300 students applied for 200 places. My department is now committing funds for a similar scheme in China – this one for more than 400 UK students. And we are working with employers such as Huawei to enable UK students to undertake work placements, also in China.

Nevertheless, further action is required. We’re determined, for example to widen participation in Erasmus after a HEFCE report last year concluded that credit-mobile students are “disproportionately white, female, middle-class and academic high-achievers”. To that end, BIS has commissioned a working group on student mobility, in which the British Council is involved. And its conclusions will be greatly helped by the British Council’s “Next Generation” report – which shows what perceptions among young people need addressing, suggests ways of raising awareness and highlights the importance of increasing overseas experience among students at post-1992 universities. It’s telling that Hertfordshire University has managed to increase its Erasmus participation by two thirds simply through active promotion. I recently met a group of academics and employers in the House of Commons making this case strongly, and I want to pursue it.

I really hope that this event can generate some good ideas to get the future UK workforce more switched on to the realities of globalisation – so that they think about what’s happening to our world as much in terms of their careers as they do as consumers. Although digital technologies certainly make the planet feel smaller and more interconnected, there’s still no substitute for seeing things with our own eyes. The imperatives here are social as well as economic, moral as well as personal.

Notes to editors

BIS’s online newsroom contains the latest press notices, speeches, as well as video and images for download. It also features an up to date list of BIS press office contacts. See http://www.bis.gov.uk/newsroom for more information. Contacts   NDS Enquiries
Phone: For enquiries please contact the issuing dept
ndsenquiries@coi.gsi.gov.uk

Reported by: NDS UK

Dec 12 11

Multilingual On-line Recruitment Advertising Sales Executive based in North London – £20K -£30K

by admin

Due to rapid expansion our client currently has several positions available for a Dutch/French/Spanish/Hungarian Speaking Online Recruitment Advertising Sales Executive within their highly successful and expanding international sales team in their headquarters in North London.

Working using a mixture of face to face and telephone contact, your role will consist primarily of developing warm sales leads, winning new business, and negotiating optimal advertising packages across our international portfolio of recruitment advertising job portals in Dutch/French/Spanish/Hungarian speaking countries.  Over time the position then transitions into a more account management focus the client base you build. This is more then just a sales role and there are real progression opportunities in our rapidly expanding organisation.
You will be a motivated self starter and possess a proven track record in advertising sales selling into Dutch/French/Spanish/Hungarian speaking markets. We are looking for people who love building relationships with clients and who believe nothing can get in the way of them achieving their goals. The ability to be able to build effective consultative business conversations with senior level decision makers is essential.  Native level Dutch/French/Spanish/Hungarian and fluent English is also required
If you are a financially motivated, ambitious individual who wants to be rewarded for your success within a fast expanding international organisation with uncapped excellent earning potential, please email your CV to enquiries@promolingua.com
Dec 7 11

PromoLingua’s website facelift!

by admin

Please checkout our website www.promolingua.com which has been given a recent facelift - Constructive comments and suggestions are always welcome?

Nov 25 11

French speaking Technical Engineer/Database & System Administrator – Rotterdam, The Netherlands

by admin

Salary: c£39K euros

Location: Rotterdam, The Netherlands

Language: French

Company: 

Multinational and global leader in software.

The job: 

Provide technical support to customers and other departments within the company by telephone, email and web. Good customer care skills. Excellent team player and communicator with good diagnostic and troubleshooting skills.

Main Tasks:

The primary functions of this role are:

 

  • To deliver technical expertise in all areas of the product portfolio, to a variety of groups, including Application Partners, Direct End-Users, Distributors and the company’s employees in the EMEA region.
  • To create entries for and maintain an EMEA-wide Knowledge Base.
  • To participate in new product release reviews and QA activities.
  • Manage customers effectively and professionally, seeking help from senior staff. Appropriately escalate issues as needed.
  • Ensure customer cases are reported and logged with the maximum information relevant to the issue. Communicate effectively with customers regarding expectations for call backs and follow up of their issues. Demonstrate an increasing level of customer care skills.
  • Troubleshoot and diagnose routinely encountered customer issues making use of the resources available to you, and provide valid workarounds wherever possible. Own and resolve customer issues in a timely manner for your technical areas of expertise. Demonstrate an increasing ability to troubleshoot and resolve customer issues independently, using appropriate problem solving techniques.
  • Log bugs in the bug database using clear and precise information, detailing the issue and how to reproduce. Provide additional information to development as needed. Set the customer impact level appropriately for the bug. Request patches when necessary.

Requirements:

 University-level education (Computer Science or related field)

  • Experience as a Database/System Administrator (MS-SQL, Oracle)
  • Fluent written and verbal English and fluent French.
  • Excellent communication skills and telephone manner
  • Strong customer focus and ability to deal with a variety of people on different levels (for example software developers, solution architects and project managers)
  • Strong problem-description and problem-solving skills
  • Must be organized, able to multi-task and prioritize effectively
  • Self-motivated, but also a team player with good team spirit
To apply please forward your CV along with a covering letter highlighting your skills and experience relevant to the role to enquiries@promolingua.com
Nov 25 11

Technical Support Engineer / Developer – French, Rotterdam, The Netherlands – c£39K euros

by admin

Salary: c£39K euros

Location: Rotterdam, The Netherlands

Language: French

 

Company: 

Multinational and global leader in software.

The job:

Provide technical support to customers and other departments within the company by telephone, email and web. Good customer care skills. Excellent team player and communicator with good diagnostic and troubleshooting skills.

Main Tasks:

The primary functions of this role are:

 

  • To deliver technical expertise in all areas of the product portfolio, to a variety of groups, including Application Partners, Direct End-Users, Distributors and the company’s employees in the EMEA region.
  • To create entries for and maintain an EMEA-wide Knowledge Base.
  • To participate in new product release reviews and QA activities.
  • Manage customers effectively and professionally, seeking help from senior staff. Appropriately escalate issues as needed.
  • Ensure customer cases are reported and logged with the maximum information relevant to the issue. Communicate effectively with customers regarding expectations for call backs and follow up of their issues. Demonstrate an increasing level of customer care skills.
  • Troubleshoot and diagnose routinely encountered customer issues making use of the resources available to you, and provide valid workarounds wherever possible. Own and resolve customer issues in a timely manner for your technical areas of expertise. Demonstrate an increasing ability to troubleshoot and resolve customer issues independently, using appropriate problem solving techniques.
  • Log bugs in the bug database using clear and precise information, detailing the issue and how to reproduce. Provide additional information to development as needed. Set the customer impact level appropriately for the bug. Request patches when necessary.

Requirements:

 

  • University-level education (Computer Science or related field)
  • Experience as an Application Developer (Java, C, C++, C#, SQL)
  • Fluent written and verbal English, native-level French
  • Excellent communication skills and telephone manner
  • Strong customer focus and ability to deal with a variety of people on different levels (for example software developers, solution architects and project managers)
  • Strong problem-description and problem-solving skills
  • Must be organised, able to multi-task and prioritise effectively
  • Self-motivated, but also a team player with good team spirit
To apply please send your CV along with a covering letter highlighting your relevant skills and experience to enquiries@promolingua.com
Nov 7 11

UK graduates fail to make the cut for international graduate jobs

by admin

Lack of language skills in UK graduates means they are hampered when trying to find international graduate jobs

Graduates from UK universities are losing out on the top international positions because they are unable to speak a second language according to academics and business leaders.

There are serious concerns about the lack of language skills in UKgraduates, which was raised at a policy meeting at the Houses of Parliament on 19th October. They discussed the fact that the current education system is not doing enough to encourage graduates to study languages. Yet many countries within the European Union are expected to speak several languages regardless of what they are studying.

“No university should be producing graduates who cannot function at a basic level in another language,” said Baroness Coussins, chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Modern Languages, after the event, which was organised by the Industry and Parliament Trust.

“There is a feeling that ‘English is enough’ because it is spoken everywhere, but this is not true,” she said. “Businesses are not looking for people who are fluent, but those who can do basic conversation and break the ice. It gives a good impression of that company.”

With graduates unable to speak languages other than English, it is harming Britain’s economic competitiveness and University leavers are failing to win top places at multinational companies.

Tim Connell, former director of language studies at City University London, said life skills gained bymultilingual graduates on year-abroad placements were also attractive to employers.

Professor Connell, who is vice-president of the Chartered Institute of Linguists, commented that “Students have to be so adaptable because the skill sets required by businesses are changing so quickly. What you learn in your degree is normally out of date within five years, so what students carry with them are their skills. I think higher education is very modest about the transferable skills that it gives to students.”

Oct 31 11

In the global jobs market, foreign talk isn’t cheap, it’s invaluable

by admin

Lack of language skills hampers UK graduates’ efforts to find employment. Jack Grove reports

Graduates from UK universities are losing out on top international jobs because they cannot speak a second language, academics and business leaders have warned.

Serious concerns about the lack of multilingual graduates were raised at a policy meeting at the Houses of Parliament on 19 October to discuss student skills and employability.

Business leaders, academics, MPs and peers said the UK’s education system, including universities, was failing to encourage students to study languages, whereas overseas students were expected to speak several languages regardless of what they were studying.

“No university should be producing graduates who cannot function at a basic level in another language,” said Baroness Coussins, chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Modern Languages, after the event, which was organised by the Industry and Parliament Trust.

“There is a feeling that ‘English is enough’ because it is spoken everywhere, but this is not true,” she said. “Businesses are not looking for people who are fluent, but those who can do basic conversation and break the ice. It gives a good impression of that company.”

The failure to promote multilingual graduates was “harming Britain’s economic competitiveness”, she added, as university leavers were struggling to win top places at multinational companies and institutions because their language skills let them down.

This meant that only 1.5 per cent of the 51,000 applicants for European Union jobs in Brussels this year were British, she said, which resulted in just seven successful UK candidates.

Tim Connell, former director of language studies at City University London, said life skills gained by multilingual graduates on year-abroad placements were also attractive to employers.

“Students have to be so adaptable because the skill sets required by businesses are changing so quickly,” said Professor Connell, who is vice-president of the Chartered Institute of Linguists.

“What you learn in your degree is normally out of date within five years, so what students carry with them are their skills,” he added.

“I think higher education is very modest about the transferable skills that it gives to students.”

“Soft skills” were also important for graduates entering the job market, said Florence Mele, director of studies at international business school ESCP Europe, where students must study in three countries during its two-year courses.

Presentation skills, public speaking and business etiquette were vital, she explained, as were the ability to project manage, meet deadlines and engage well with people from other countries and cultures.

Technical skills such as competency with Excel spreadsheets and PowerPoint were also required, she added.

Despite concerns from participants that students should concentrate on academic learning, Ms Mele said these deficits in other skills should be addressed by universities.

“These are the skills that will help students find jobs – it is a university’s responsibility to train them in these skills,” she said.

David Coen, professor of public policy at University College London, said universities should encourage all students to develop language skills throughout their degrees.

Sustained study of a foreign language beyond secondary school was vital when applying to multinational corporations, he insisted.

“If someone applies with only GCSE French, they will not have the requisite skills to compete for those jobs,” he said.

jack.grove@tsleducation.com.