Award shortlisting reflects international refresh
1st January, 2017
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Stafford MP's visit leads to a new strategy
International PR agency Stone Junction has been shortlisted for The Sentinel newspaper’s International Trade Award; part of the publication’s annual business awards. The shortlisting comes hot on the heels of a visit from Stafford’s MP Jeremy Lefroy.
Following the visit Stone Junction renewed its international business and recruitment drive. Together, Jeremy and a representation from Stone Junction discussed the challenges and benefits of recruiting employees with language skills for businesses across the UK.
According to research by YouGov for the British Council, around 72 per cent of the UKs international trade is with non-English speaking countries. However, three quarters of adults in the UK adults are not able to hold a conversation in any of the ten languages considered to be the most important for UK trade.
Given recent political developments, many employers are concerned that they will no longer be able to recruit native language speakers from the EU and will struggle to recruit UK candidates with adequate language skills. During the visit, Lefroy and Stone Junction managing director Richard Stone discussed their strategies for managing these challenges.
“Languages are vitally important for businesses”, declared Stafford MP Jeremy Lefroy. “Even if the majority of the world’s business people can speak English, it’s much better to speak to someone in their own language. Just a few words in someone’s native language can build relationships and show respect for their work and their country’s culture. The more fluent you can become, the more you can relate to people.
“To help businesses employ language speakers, I suggest two routes,” continued Jeremy. “The first is to intensively train your staff. Intensive language courses are a great way to quickly gain competency in a language and should be offered by businesses according to their needs.
“Secondly, I will continue to push for the ease of movement between the UK and the EU for all citizens. Not only do we have a lot to benefit from EU citizens who bring their language skills to UK companies, I also want to UK business people to be able to take advantage of opportunities to work in EU countries.”
“We echo Jeremy Lefroy’s views on the importance of language skills”, explained Richard Stone. “The seven different languages spoken in house enhances the internationally focused work that we do for our clients. At Stone Junction, we believe that speaking in someone’s own language is the best way to do business and we fully support Jeremy’s plans to push for the ease of labour movement between UK and EU companies. I think our recent award shortlisting only reiterates the success of the work we do.”