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Foreign and Commonwealth Office: Languages

Foreign and Commonwealth Office written question – answered on 30th November 2016.

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Photo of Baroness Coussins Baroness Coussins Crossbench

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what action is being taken by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to improve target level attainment for languages for diplomatic and other staff based in key regions such as the Middle East and North Africa.

Photo of Baroness Anelay of St Johns Baroness Anelay of St Johns Minister of State

Language skills are vital to diplomacy and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office has increased the language training budget annually over the last three years to improve target level attainment. Officers posted to speaker slots overseas undergo full time language training to enable them to reach C1 operational level (equivalent to degree level) before taking up their posting. Those in speaker slots are encouraged, including through our performance management system, to take action if they have not reached their target level.

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