Tony Arbour
Poor language skills costing London economy £6.9bn

Modern languages should become compulsory for school kids aged 5 to 18 according to GLA Conservative Tony Arbour.

This comes as new figures show that London forgoes £6.9bn a year in profits and 65,000 jobs due to the poor language skills of its workforce.

Tony Arbour will urge the Mayor to lobby Government at today’s public Mayor’s Question Time at City Hall.

Tony Arbour said:

“In a competitive global market, it is vital that London and the wider UK maintain our edge as the financial centre of Europe. We lag behind in terms of practical language skills, and this is costing us jobs and money. The Mayor needs to lobby the government to make it compulsory for all children to be taught practical language skills from year one until they leave secondary school to ensure they are competitive in the job market”.

The Figures:
· The London export economy is £121bn (2012). With an elasticity of exports with respect to language of 0.057 (the average detailed in a UKTI report), the export ‘tax’ on London from a lack of language skills is £6.897bn.
· There are 1.129 million people employed in the financial sector, and the financial sector contributes £119.761bn each year to the economy. This means that for every £106k, one job is supported in the sector.
So the language ‘tax’ of £6.897bn is equivalent to 65,019 jobs in the financial sector.