Business Language Champions Awards 2011
13 October 2011
Pierhead Building, Cardiff Bay: 12.30 pm, Wednesday, October 19th
Pupils make the link between foreign language skills and business success
Representatives from schools, businesses and the Welsh Government will gather at the Pierhead Building in Cardiff Bay on October 19th to raise awareness of the need for foreign language skills in the world of international business. The Business Language Champions scheme is a CILT Cymru initiative which forges partnerships between Modern Foreign Language (MFL) departments in schools and businesses that are trading internationally in Wales.
The event will be attended by Jeff Cuthbert AM, Deputy Minister for Skills, whilst Helen Cherré of Cassidian (which includes Airbus amongst its subsidiary companies) and Graham Morgan of the South Wales Chamber of Commerce will be amongst the business representatives. Mr Morgan will present the inaugural awards.
The BLC awards fall into 3 categories:
1. Outstanding Commitment by a business partner;
2. Innovation (projects which bring schools and businesses together in new and exciting ways);
3. Ambassador (for an individual contribution in support of languages in business and in schools)
The awards scheme for Wales was launched last year, but 2011 brings the first prize-giving ceremony, and the standard of nominations has been high. As well as the 3 main awards, the judging panel has therefore decided to reward 5 additional projects under a new ‘Highly Commended‘ category.
Feedback from both businesses and schools has been extremely positive, with John Curwen of Eriez Magnetics Europe Ltd stating:
“Over 75% of our orders so far this year are from overseas. The aggressive growth that we demand of our business would not be achievable if we did not have employees with language skills. Simple as that.”
Year 9 pupils from Brynhafren Comprehensive School in Barry showed a marked change of attitude following a visit to Cardiff Airport:
‘Going on this trip made me realise how important it is to learn languages and all the jobs you could get by knowing different languages’
In combination with a new Business Languages NVQ course developed by CILT Cymru, the BLC scheme is opening young people’s eyes to the relevance of MFL skills in the business world. With Wales propping up the league table in terms of UK export performance, there is a growing awareness that foreign language skills can have a key role to play in terms of employability, competitiveness and profitability. (See note 5 below)
Further information can be obtained from: