New study: language single biggest barrier to cross-border mobility in Europe

One of the central tenets of the European Union is a free labour market which offers skilled individuals the mobility to move with demand. However, a new study shows that only 3% of EU citizens of working age live and work in a different EU country. One of the main reasons: the language trap.

LanguagesEspecially in today’s difficult economic times, many well-trained citizens from the countries hit the hardest by the financial crisis are looking to Germany to find employment. And Germany is in desperate need of skilled employees in a number of sectors, such as engineering, IT, and health care. However, German employers are very rarely willing to compromise when it comes to language skills, and few of the international job seekers have the German language skills required; instead, they all learnt English in school. And while “English is widely used in multi-national companies”, this is “rarely [the case] in the public sector or the small-to-medium sized enterprises that employ the bulk of the European labor force.”

To learn more about the study and current trends in labour mobility, read “Class of 2012: Yound Europeans trapped by language

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