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Strong language and communication skills are important for both individuals and businesses.
Too many European companies are losing out on business contracts because of poor language skills and a lack of knowledge of other cultures. It is clear that a more strategic approach to multilingual communication is needed.
Employees with advanced language and communication skills are not only more employable, but are able to move freely within the Euroepan Union. They can also work or study abroad more easily, all of which makes improving the language skills of EU citizens a high priority.
There are currently two working groups looking into these issues; the "Business Platform" group and the "Languages for Jobs" group.
The Business Platform group aims to promote language learning to improve competitiveness and employability, as well as developing tools and services to help companies and people improve their professional performance.
The Languages for Jobs group focuses on the development of policy recommendations on languages and employability in order to reduce the mismatch between the supply and demand of languages in the labour market.
From 2011-2013, the Business Platform contributed to the Network for the Promotion of Language Strategies for Competitiveness and Employability (CELAN), which aimed to identify the linguistic needs of European companies and employees and provide tools to satisfy those needs.
In July 2011, the Languages for Jobs group published a report on providing multilingual communication skills for the labour market , detailing their findings.
The European Commission also supports languages as a medium for growth through its Erasmus+ activities.