السبت, مايو 18, 2024
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الرئيسيةEnglish NewsPearson study highlights the transformative impact of English proficiency for Saudi Arabian...

Pearson study highlights the transformative impact of English proficiency for Saudi Arabian workforce

 Mastering English is not just a business necessity, but a transformative investment that shapes professional and personal lives. Pearson, the world’s leading learning company, has recently unveiled insights from its latest study “How English empowers your tomorrow” which provides an up-to-date snapshot of the evolving landscape of English in Saudi Arabia and its role in societal progress and economic growth. It explores the impact of language proficiency on career opportunities in 2024, the availability and importance of on-the-job language training, and employee confidence in using English in their work. English proficiency emerges not merely as an academic achievement but as a way to unlock higher pay and wider job opportunities. This is pertinent in the development of national strategies, particularly in the context of Saudi Arabia’s inspiring Vision 2030.

Pearson’s research highlights the vital importance of English proficiency in fostering professional growth and economic success. In Saudi Arabia, 98% of respondents believe that English language skills are crucial for securing employment, marking it as a key competency in today’s and tomorrow’s job markets.

Better English leads to better career prospects

According to the research, a vast majority (93%) of Saudi respondents consider English proficiency critical for determining their earning potential. Those proficient in English frequently land higher-paying jobs, highlighting the profound impact of language skills on career progression and job satisfaction. Furthermore, 48% of respondents believe that effective English communicators can earn 60-100% more than those who lack these skills.

Furthermore, only 11% of those with limited English reported earning over 300,000 SAR per year, whereas for those with a high level of English proficiency, this figure rises to 42%. We also find those with higher levels of English proficiency are also more likely to be in more senior or leadership roles – 43% of those with limited English proficiency are in a Management role vs 82% of those with advanced English skills. This shows that there is high value for English proficiency to unlock personal growth and professional opportunities for the Saudi workforce.

The study from Pearson also shows more than half (55%) of Saudi English learners think knowing the language will open up a wider range of job roles, similarly, a majority (56%) of the Saudi respondents say that English will help them climb the ladder to more senior positions in their field.

Furthermore, 23% of respondents in Saudi Arabia work for a company that has adopted English as the working language. This underscores the importance of English language skills in the globalized economy, where English serves as a primary conduit for communication and collaboration across borders. Notably, the ability to forge stronger connections with colleagues is paramount in Saudi Arabia, with nearly 2-in-5 respondents perceiving proficiency in English as a hallmark of ambition.

Job satisfaction is closely linked with English Proficiency and training

The study observed a 14-point difference in satisfaction levels between employees with varying English skills. Despite 94% of workers expressing the importance of learning and development, only 44% of companies in Saudi Arabia currently offer language upskilling programs. The data highlights the importance of language training, showing that companies offering these programs see notably higher job satisfaction among employees. This underlines the need for employers to include language training in their retention and engagement strategies, recognizing language skills as crucial for workplace success and employee fulfilment.

Employees are futureproofing their careers

As AI increasingly influences the workplace, research shows that many employees feel uncertain about their job futures. Notably, 49% of respondents are enhancing their English language skills as a strategy to counteract the effects of AI and technology on their careers and remain competitive. Some 44% said they are learning English to be better prepared to find a new role in case they lose their job to technology/AI. This perspective is pivotal as the Kingdom advances towards its Vision 2030 objectives, aiming to foster a vibrant society, a thriving and diversified economy, and an ambitious nation.

Low confidence in English communication

Pearson’s research suggests that there is up to a 40% skills gap in English language ability across industries. While 80% of respondents in Saudi stated that they had an English qualification, only a little more than a quarter (42%) feel confident across all four skills of reading, listening, writing, and speaking English in the workplace. Nearly four quarters (90%) of Saudi respondents went as far as to say their jobs would be easier if they knew better English and only a quarter of respondents felt they could fully express themselves when using the language to do their jobs.

Pearson is dedicated to supporting Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 by offering innovative learning solutions to enhance English language proficiency, fostering economic diversification, boosting employment opportunities, and promoting a culture of lifelong learning. One such solution is Pearson’s Global Scale of English (GSE), a standardized tool ranging from 10 to 90 that precisely measures English proficiency and aligns with popular proficiency exams. The GSE empowers learners to accurately assess their proficiency level, track progress, and set achievable goals, thereby contributing to Pearson’s mission to elevate language education for personal and economic advancement.

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