German has overtaken French as the language most sought after by employers in Britain, according to a new study.
A study published Wednesday by global recruitment site Indeed found that the number of jobs requiring German language skills has increased by more than 10% over the past three years. In comparison, the number of positions requiring Francophones increased by only 1%.
Meanwhile, Chinese (which included both Mandarin and Cantonese) fell from the fifth most required language skill to third, with the number of jobs seeking Chinese speakers increasing by more than a third since then. 2016. Demand for Chinese speakers saw the greatest increase over the three-year period.
Indeed analyzed the requirements in millions of job offers posted on its website, which is searched by more than 250 million people per month.
Demand for German speakers peaked just before the Brexit referendum in June 2016, the data shows.
The total number of jobs specifying language skills as a prerequisite increased by nearly 3% over the same period.
However, Indeed noted that the impact of Brexit on migration could potentially lead to a “language divide” in the UK jobs market. According to the UK’s Office for National Statistics, net migration from the EU is now at its lowest level in a decade, which could signal a shrinking talent pool for European language skills.
“Many UK employers who need multilingual staff are increasingly unstable as a perfect storm brews – fewer and fewer linguists are coming out of our education system, just as the uncertainty of Brexit appears to be deterring workers from move here from the EU,” Bill Richards, UK managing director of Indeed, said in a press release.
“English is a global language, but that cannot always outweigh the need to be fluent in other languages. While the UK market clearly continues to offer plenty of opportunities for those with additional language skills, there are has a risk that a shortage will emerge as insufficient supply butts in the face of growing demand,” he added.