June 5, 2012 5:57:12 pm
English-speaking people earn up to three times more than non-English speakers in the Middle East and North Africa with the language being vital for economic development of the region,a research has claimed.
The research commissioned by the British Council carried out in eight countries by Euromonitor International,shows that English fluency can have a major impact on income in the MENA region.
The salary gap between similarly-skilled individuals who speak English and those who do not ranges from 5 per cent in Tunisia to 75 per cent in Egypt and even 200 per cent for some workers in the Iraqi capital Baghdad.
The research was conducted through interviews with more than 2,000 young people,businesses,educators,governments and recruiters in Algeria,Egypt,Iraq,Jordan,Lebanon,Morocco,Tunisia and Yemen.
It forecasts a year-on-year growth in the number of English speakers between 5 and 7 per cent in the majority of countries between now and 2016.
Private companies are increasingly driving demand for English in the region,multinational companies in particular.
Industries such as IT and software development,maritime and air freight,telecommunications,banking and finance,tourism and hospitality have the highest need for English-speaking employees.
According to the report,most young people in the region have a clear understanding of the importance of English and its role in helping them gain employment with multinational companies either within their country or abroad,with employment in international economic hubs such as the United Arab Emirates a typical target.
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