PUPILS from Dumbarton Academy had the opportunity to learn the language of business at a recent school event.
Third year students heard from a range of local business leaders who view language skills as key to the growth and success of their company.
The event demonstrated the relevance of these skills in a work context and aimed to encourage pupils to continue with their language studies into the senior phase of their secondary education, and beyond school.
Cara Brown, subject leader for Modern Languages at Dumbarton Academy, said: “The event was a success, emphasised by the positive feedback given by pupils. The presentations delivered by the range of speakers were well received by everyone involved and really engaged the learners who discovered the value of language skills for employment and for life beyond school.”
One of the pupils added: “I enjoyed hearing different peoples’ stories and learning about what they had been able to do through learning another language. I was surprised to find out how many ways languages can be useful.”
The event was organised by Dumbarton Academy’s Modern Languages Department with support from SCILT, Scotland’s National Centre for Languages, based at University of Strathclyde. Companies attending included Pernod Ricard, Project Trust, and the Army.
Fhiona Fisher, director of SCILT said: “Events such as these are a really important way of providing young people with high quality careers advice delivered by the business people themselves and of demonstrating to them the value of language skills in our increasingly globalised world."
Meaningful employer engagement and providing relevant careers advice are both key recommendations of Scotland’s Youth Employment Strategy, “Developing the young workforce” and were supported by this event.
The targets laid out in the Scottish Attainment Challenge are about achieving equity in educational outcomes, with a particular focus on closing the poverty-related attainment gap. Through hearing from a range of business leaders and interacting with employees, many students who attended the event said the felt their aspirations had been raised.
This collaboration between schools and businesses supported Scotland’s International Policy to equip young people with international communication and employability skills that they will need in our increasingly globalised society and economy.
For more information on SCILT’s work to promote the value of languages amongst young people in Scotland go to http://www.scilt.org.uk/Business/tabid/1297/Default.aspx.