Despite increasing European business opportunities, 80 per cent of employees have never been offered the opportunity to learn a second language at work, new research reveals.
The study from language course provider Rosetta Stone found that only seven per cent of business executives believe that language skills are the most important factor to consider if their company relocated overseas.
Despite a boom in UK trade with Russia and the EU accession of eastern European countries such as Poland, only two per cent of executives surveyed felt that it was important to learn one of these two languages.
Around 20 per cent of British businesses have lost business opportunities due to their failure to embrace new language skills, according to figures from the British Chamber of Commerce.
Managing Director of Rosetta Stone James Pitman said: "In 2007, the EU is expected to expand again and it is therefore shocking that 80 per cent of businesses still refuse to offer any language training to their staff. It is little wonder they are losing business opportunities."