Foreign Languages: Economic Value - Question

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 2:40 pm on 29th March 2022.

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Photo of Lord Watson of Invergowrie Lord Watson of Invergowrie Shadow Spokesperson (Education) 2:40 pm, 29th March 2022

My Lords, developing the point just raised by the noble Lord, Lord Sherbourne, in the European Union two-thirds of adults of working age can speak more than one language, yet two-thirds of Britons cannot hold a conversation in a language other than their mother tongue, so I am sure the Minister will be as concerned as I was to see the latest figures on A-levels in modern languages decline by a further 5% between 2017 and 2021. Yesterday, the schools White Paper pledged a network, I think it was called, of modern language hubs with CPD for teachers of those languages, yet the numbers of those teachers are falling. Will the cuts made last year by the Government in bursaries for language students, from £26,000 to £10,000, be reversed to support the development of those modern language hubs?