Learning a new language can be an exciting and rewarding experience but the benefits don’t stop there.
Being bilingual not only gives you bragging rights, but it also gives you the benefit of standing out in an increasingly competitive job market.
Considering this, Lea Aylett, Academic Director at The Language Gallery has advised on the five languages that employees find most valuable, boosting your career prospects and potentially increasing your paycheck in 2018.
The official language of China, Mandarin is already the most widely spoken language in the world. China has strict laws governing business and trade, so the language is a highly sought-after skill and is becoming increasingly useful for working in finance and economics in China, USA, Dubai and Japan. As China’s economy continues to boom, so will the demand for Mandarin speakers across the globe. It’s not as difficult as people think.
Germany makes up Europe’s largest economy and is the second largest importer of British goods, so there isn’t a better language choice for those entering the world of international trade and investment than German 1. Those aiming to break into the western world of work won’t find a much better edge in getting hired than adding German to their resume.
Arabic is the official language of many developing Middle Eastern and African countries and can be your entry point into their ever-expanding economies. With booming oil, construction and real estate industries, being able to speak Arabic could help provide you with the competitive edge many employers are looking for in these growing economies. Much like Mandarin Chinese, it is also one of the most challenging languages for English speakers to learn, which makes it especially impressive to employers.
Spanish is the official language in 20 countries and is also commonly spoken in the United States, Andorra and Gibraltar. Getting a grasp of the language will give you a huge boost if you’re planning on pursuing a career in tourism, healthcare, banking or retail, and may just prove the tipping point in getting yourself hired.
The demand for Portuguese speakers has increased due to Brazil’s steadily developing economy, with a British Council Report 3 predicting its gross domestic product will overtake France and the UK by 2020. Although demand for Portuguese may not currently be at the same level of demand as Spanish, demand is certainly growing. In fact, having the ability to speak Portuguese may currently provide a greater benefit than Spanish, since there are fewer individuals in possession of this skill.
Speaking about the benefits of hiring bilingual employees, Stefania Burns, Customer Services Manager at Tombola said: “Having bilingual speakers in our company enables us to understand the culture of a certain market so we can ensure our brand is appropriately represented. Language diversity is fundamental to business expansion as it allows team members to learn about the emerging market and effectively communicate with the consumer from that market in a relatable way.”
Norris Koppel, Founder and CEO of Monese, also said: “As the CEO of a business that provides banking services to customers across 20 countries, hiring people that speak multiple languages is a huge benefit to our team. We operate in 8 languages with more to roll out, so having the insight of those who are bilingual or multilingual not only helps us to achieve our goals but also to understand the nuances and cultures of each country and our customer.
“The Monese team itself is split across two countries – Estonia and UK – and our team comes from all over the world. Being able to speak another language really does open new doors and opportunities to travel and work abroad, and our team is a true representation of this.”
Commenting on the above, Lea Aylett, Academic Director at The Language Gallery, said: “We live in a globalized business environment and knowing a second language will differentiate you from the crowd when looking to progress your career.
“In our global economy, one of the most valuable skills an employee can possess is the ability to speak a second or multiple languages. Knowing one of the above languages will illustrate to an employer the value you bring as an employee and a person.”
For more information on how language can boost your professionalism visit: www.thelanguagegallery.com/blog/careers/english-for-work-how-language-affects-profession alism-tlg-blog
Battling Covid collateral damage, Renault says 2021 will be volatile
By Gilles Guillaume
PARIS (Reuters) – Renault said on Friday it is still fighting the lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, including a shortage of semiconductor chips, that could make for another rough year for the French carmaker.
Renault reported an 8 billion euro ($9.7 billion) loss for 2020 which, combined with gloomy take on the market, sent its shares down more than 5% in late morning trading.
“We are in the midst of a battle to try to manage a difficult year in terms of supply chains, of components,” Chief Executive Luca de Meo told reporters. “This is all the collateral damage of the Covid pandemic… we will have a fairly volatile year.”
De Meo, who took over last July, is looking at ways to boost profitability and sales at Renault while pushing ahead with cost cuts. There were early signs of improving momentum as margins inched up in the second half of 2020.
The group gave no financial guidance for this year, although it said it might reach a target of achieving 2 billion euros in costs cuts by 2023 ahead of time, possibly by December.
Executives said they were confident the carmaker could be profitable in the second half of 2021, but that they lacked sufficient market visibility to provide a forecast.
Renault struck a cautious note, saying it was focused on its recovery but warned orders had faltered in early 2021 as pandemic restrictions continued in some countries.
The group is facing new challenges as the European Union tightens emissions regulations and after rivals PSA and Fiat Chrysler joined forces to create Stellantis, the world’s fourth-biggest automaker.
The auto industry endured a tough 2020 but a swift rebound in premium car sales in China helped companies such as Volkswagen and Daimler to weather the storm.
Auto companies globally have since been hit by a shortage of semiconductors that has forced production cuts worldwide.
“The beginning of the year has shown some signs of weakness,” De Meo told analysts, but added the chip shortage should be resolved by the second half of 2021. “We have taken the necessary measures to anticipate and overcome challenges.”
Renault estimated the chip shortage could reduce its production by about 100,000 vehicles this year.
The group was already loss-making in 2019, but took a sharp hit in 2020 during lockdowns to fight the pandemic, which also hurt its Japanese partner Nissan.
Analysts polled by Refinitiv had expected a 7.4 billion euro loss for 2020. The group posted negative free cash flow for 2020.
The 2018 arrest of Carlos Ghosn, who formerly lead the alliance between Renault and Nissan, plunged the automakers into turmoil.
In a further sign that the companies have been working to repair the alliance, De Meo told journalists that Renault and Nissan will announce new joint products together in the coming weeks or months.
Renault has begun to raise prices on some car models, and group operating profit, which was negative for 2020 as a whole, improved in the last six months of the year, reaching 866 million euros or 3.5% of revenue.
Analysts at Jefferies said the operating performance was better than expected. Sales were still falling in the second half, but less sharply.
Renault is slashing jobs and trimming its range of cars, allowing it to slice spending in areas like research and development as it focuses on redressing its finances. It is also pivoting more towards electric cars as part of its revamp.
It was already struggling more than some rivals with sliding sales before the pandemic, after years of a vast expansion drive it is now trying to rein in, focusing on profitable markets.
De Meo told journalists on Friday that the French carmaker will make three new higher-margin models at its Palencia plant in Spain, where manufacturing costs are lower, between 2022 and 2024.
($1 = 0.8269 euros)
(Reporting by Gilles Guillaume and Sarah White in Paris, Nick Carey in London; Editing by Christopher Cushing, David Evans and Jan Harvey)
UK delays review of business rates tax until autumn
LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s finance ministry said it would delay publication of its review of business rates – a tax paid by companies based on the value of the property they occupy – until the autumn when the economic outlook should be clearer.
Many companies are demanding reductions in their business rates to help them compete with online retailers.
“Due to the ongoing and wide-ranging impacts of the pandemic and economic uncertainty, the government said the review’s final report would be released later in the year when there is more clarity on the long-term state of the economy and the public finances,” the ministry said.
Finance minister Rishi Sunak has granted a temporary business rates exemption to companies in the retail, hospitality, and leisure sectors, costing over 10 billion pounds ($14 billion). Sunak is due to announce his next round of support measures for the economy on March 3.
($1 = 0.7152 pounds)
(Writing by William Schomberg, editing by David Milliken)
Discounter Pepco has all of Europe in its sights
By James Davey
LONDON (Reuters) – Pepco Group, which owns British discount retailer Poundland, has targeted 400 store openings across Europe in its 2020-21 financial year as it expands its PEPCO brand beyond central and eastern Europe, its boss said on Friday.
The group opened a net 327 new stores in its 2019-20 year, taking the total to 3,021 in 15 countries. The PEPCO brand entered western Europe for the first time with openings in Italy and it plans its first foray into Spain in April or May.
Chief Executive Andy Bond said its five stores in Italy have traded “super well” so far.
“That’s given us a lot of confidence that we can now start building PEPCO into western Europe and that expands our market opportunity from roughly 100 million people (in central and eastern Europe) to roughly 500 million people,” he told Reuters.
To further illustrate the brand’s potential he noted that the group has more than 1,000 PEPCO shops in Poland, which has a significantly smaller population and gross domestic product than Italy or Spain.
The company, which also owns the Dealz brand in Europe but does not trade online, has already opened more than 100 of the targeted 400 new stores this financial year.
Pepco Group is part of South African conglomerate Steinhoff, which is still battling the fallout of a 2017 accounting scandal.
Since 2019 Steinhoff and its creditors have been evaluating a range of strategic options for Pepco Group, including a potential public listing, private equity sale or trade sale.
That process was delayed by the pandemic, but Steinhoff said last month that it had resumed.
“The business will be up for sale at the right time. It’s a case of when, rather than if,” said Bond, a former boss of British supermarket chain Asda.
Pepco Group on Friday reported a 31% drop in full-year core earnings, citing temporary coronavirus-related store closures.
Underlying earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) were 229 million euros ($277 million) for the year to Sept. 30, against 331 million euros the previous year.
Sales rose 3% to 3.5 billion euros, reflecting new store openings.
($1 = 0.8279 euros)
(Reporting by James Davey; Editing by David Goodman)
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