Renfrewshire schools will be allocated over £100,000 this year to support pupils learning additional languages, the Scottish Government announced today.

The news has been welcomed by Renfrewshire MSP Derek Mackay.

A lack of language skills has been estimated to cost Scottish businesses hundreds of millions of pounds a year in lost exports.

The Scottish Government funding will enable every primary school pupil to start learning an additional language in Primary 1 and a second additional language by Primary 5, and for language learning to continue to the end of S3. This includes Mandarin, Gaelic and British Sign Language as well as European languages.

There has been a sustained increase in language Highers and skills-based qualifications in recent years and the Scottish Government’s continued investment will build on this success, ensuring the workforce has the right skills to make the most of international economic opportunities.

Renfrewshire will receive £101,000 of the Government’s £3m fund.

Renfrewshire North & West MSP Derek Mackay said:

“Learning languages in today’s world is becoming more vital than it was when I was a kid.

“In the modern global market place, employers strongly favour candidates with language skills. We want to ensure young Scots have these skills, and that is why introducing school children to languages at a young age and helping them to foster a long-lasting love of languages is vital.

“I am delighted that Renfrewshire will receive just over £100,000 from this year’s budget for this, showing yet again that in Government the SNP are putting the future of our children and young people first.”