Languages for Business

Building opportunities for Irish Industry in today’s global economy


Foreign Languages Skills essential for our success

In light of Brexit, foreign language skills will become even more important in the years to come. There will be a greater need for non-UK market diversification by Irish based enterprises. This has been highlighted by the Expert Group on Future Skills Needs, in its report Addressing the Skills Needs Arising from the Potential Trade Implications of Brexit (June 2018). This report emphasises the importance of implementing the Languages Connect Strategy in full, in order to enhance the resilience, agility and responsiveness of enterprises in their international trading activity. This will be activated through building awareness of the benefits of language capability, and access to an adequate pool of language skills.

The Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Enterprise Ireland and IDA Ireland, in collaboration with the Department of Education, the wider education and training sector, and employer representatives, will be working throughout the lifetime of the Languages Connect Strategy to support the enhancement of language skills within the enterprise base.

Examples include:

  • Raising awareness amongst SMEs on the benefits of employing graduates with language skills
  • Supporting businesses to invest in the development of linguistic skills in their own organisations. For example, see the 70% salary support language grant offered under Enterprise Ireland’s GradStart programme.
  • Encouraging SMEs to include language skills in their company skills plans, and implement a Language Management Strategy i.e. the ‘planned adoption of a range if techniques to facilitate effective communications with clients and suppliers abroad’, appropriate to their markets
  • The 9 Regional Skills Fora will also be working to identify language related skills needs within their regions. They will create linkages between regional employers and education and training providers to address these needs. Also, they will promote career opportunities for people with language skills. These Fora include representatives from
    • Enterprise Ireland
    • IDA Ireland
    • Local authorities
    • Business representative organisations
    • Local education and training providers

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Did you

Only 6.5%
of the world’s population are native English speakers