85 per cent employers say English skills are important
In a survey conducted by QS Global in collaboration with Cambridge English across 38 countries and 5,373 employers, it shows that 97 per cent of all employers consider English skills to be of prime importance at the workplace. The percentage is slightly lower for India at 85 per cent, but higher than the sum (69 per cent) for countries where the native language is not English. While across sectors, speaking and reading in English were considered to be the most important, employers said that writing in the language is equally important.
The gap in English language skills is larger in countries where it is not the official language. The study found that in such areas or countries, employers feel that over 70 per cent of their employees have this skills gap. The highest gap was found across sectors of accounting and finance, human resources, and production.
The report also found that employers believe that while 73 per cent middle-level managers possess necessary English skills, one in every five top managers lack these skills to meet job expectations, leading to a major roadblock in their path to success. According to the study, 50 per cent employers believe that good language skills are a prerequisite for faster growth in their job and at least 46 per cent feel that it affects increase in salary. Of the total number of employers who took part in the survey, 98.5 per cent said they have at least one method of assessing English language competency during recruitment process. Interviewing candidates in English, for example, is the most common method.
However, while the demand for English language competency is high, employers are not very willing to train employees if they lack skills. Only five per cent employers said that they are planning to have training modules for improving their employees’ language skills. The number increases marginally in case of Indian employers to eight per cent. The full report can be downloaded at http://englishatwork.cambridgeenglish.org/about