An industry expert from one of Derbyshire’s most successful businesses has urged students to learn foreign languages to help them succeed in an increasingly competitive global marketplace.

Adam Cooper, Quality and Excellence Director at leading global aerospace and defence supply chain provider Pattonair, shared insights into the world of international business and experience from his own career during a talk to 300 students from Littleover School in Derby.

Adam highlighted the important role that modern foreign languages play within Pattonair’s international relations and business development.

“The ability to engage, negotiate and influence in foreign languages can only be advantageous in the increasingly competitive global marketplace,” he said.

“I was delighted to be able to share some insights and practical examples about how language skills have opened up real opportunities to further my personal career.”

The talk was arranged by the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership, an initiative responsible for creating the conditions to support business and employment growth in Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire.

It came at a time of increasing concern over a national decline in the number of students taking modern foreign languages at GCSE and A Level, as well as the looming uncertainty posed by Brexit.

The presentation was initiated by Littleover School’s Head of Spanish and Deputy Curriculum Coordinator of Modern Foreign Languages, Sarah Towlson, who recognises that it is now even more crucial to ensure young people realise the important skills that language learning can bring.

“Our Year 10 students were able to see the 'real-life' connections between studying a foreign language and future careers, as well as gaining more of an insight into just how useful being able to speak and understand a foreign language can be to your future," she said.

Littleover has a large and highly successful modern foreign language department, with the vast majority of its pupils studying the subject at GCSE and healthy, steady numbers of its students choosing to study either French, German or Spanish at A Level.