Talking the talk at Business Brunches

Learning a language can create opportunities in places like Madrid.
Learning a language can create opportunities in places like Madrid.

Young people from three Angus schools had the opportunity to engage with local businesses at the University of Dundee on January 18, 2017.

S3 students from Brechin High School, Webster’s High School and Montrose Academy joined 70 learners from schools across Tayside and Fife to hear from a range of business leaders who view language skills as key to the growth and success of their company.

The Business Brunch demonstrated the relevance of language skills in a work context and aimed to encourage pupils to continue with their language studies into the senior phase of their secondary education, and beyond school.

A teacher attending the event said: “Today’s event has given my pupils real food for thought. Before, I think most of them would have said that you would only really use languages in teaching or translating. However, having heard from the different speakers, they have realised very quickly that languages are used for much more than that.”

One of the young people added to this, and commented: “The event today showed me that, even if you haven’t specialised in language study, for example getting a degree in a modern language, there is still a high chance you will end up using language skills in a small or large part of your job and that knowing a language can open up many more opportunities.”

Dawn Hartley from Scottish Dance Theatre, one of the workshop leaders, stated: “Our dancers come from all over the world, and our choreographers too.

“We travel to many different countries so we’re constantly grateful for all the various language skills our staff have – we always need them!”

The event was organised by SCILT, Scotland’s National Centre for Languages in partnership with the University Council for Modern Languages Scotland. Companies attending included Michelin, Valentine International Business Connections LLP, Scottish Dance Theatre, Tokheim Ltd, Outplay Entertainment Ltd and University of Dundee.

Fhiona Mackay, Director of SCILT said: “Events such as these are a really important way of providing young people with high quality careers advice delivered by the business people themselves and of demonstrating to them the value of language skills in our increasingly globalised world.”

Marion Spöring, Chair of UCML Scotland added: “The learning of languages is not only fun, but also essential for future employment opportunities of our young people in Scotland.

“Languages set the foundation for varied careers, for future engineers as well as artists and in tourism, to name but a few.”