Mandarin speakers apply here, says GCHQ
By Richard Wright | 23rd November 2021
GCHQ - with its base in Cheltenham - is busy recruiting Mandarin speakers in the light of changing geopolitics post-Covid.
Sir Jeremy Fleming, GCHQ Director, spoke about the recruitment drive at the Languages Show - an online event for linguists. GCHQ is one of the biggest employers of linguists in the UK.
He said: "At the moment as we're looking at the geopolitical changes we've seen over the last couple of years, and some of those accelerated by the pandemic, we can see that there is an increasing emphasis towards the Indo-Pacific and of course to Mandarin and other aspects of Chinese languages."
Sir Jeremy said other languages still remained important but with a 'slightly different balance' because of what has happened in the last couple of years.
He added: "If we are to be genuinely a global Britain, if we're to exercise our influence to engage with the places we need to engage right across the world, then languages need to be a part of that."
One way of doing that he suggested was to tap into the one in five school children - 1.6 million school children - who have English as a second language and have a deep understanding of another language and culture.
He said: "Probably if we're faced with a single change in this nation, it's to leverage those skills in a much more structured and systemic way and also as part of our broader challenges around inclusion and diversity helping those communities just to understand the power of those skills and the potential it gives them and their children for different sorts of careers in this country."
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