Languages may be an important skillHR staff currently carrying out recruitment stages may wish to look out for any candidates who have a second language among their qualifications, after one sector commentator claimed employers were placing an additional importance on this ability.

Teresa Tinsley, director of communications at CILT, the National Centre for Languages, said in particular those who boast conversational language skills could prove valuable as they will be able to build relationships with existing partners and forge new contacts.

“Just having enough of a second language to chat over dinner or networking drinks can make a great difference to businesses operating in a global market,” she added.

Her comments follow recent research by the CBI/Nord Anglia education and skills survey 2009, which revealed that 74 per cent of employers want conversational ability rather than fluency.

European languages – particularly French and German – are currently the most sought-after by employers recruiting specifically for language skills, the report also revealed.