Proposals by the Scottish Government to ensure all primary pupils are to be taught at least two modern languages, in addition to their own, are welcome news.
The European Council's Barcelona Agreement calls for the teaching of at least two foreign languages from an early age. And such a move is vital in order to ensure we enhance our ability as a nation to compete in international markets and take full advantage of a global economy which relies heavily on having the right language skills.
This ability serves not only to build and develop strong commercial relationships between businesses in this country and overseas, but also to open up previously untapped markets of which Scottish business can take full advantage.
Language skills can play as pivotal a role as any others in providing a workforce with the capability to compete in an increasingly competitive global economy.
We wish the soon-to-be-established working group well as it looks at the practicalities of achieving this target.
Jacqui Hepburn, Director, Alliance of Sector Skills Councils in Scotland, Edinburgh.