German has overtaken French as the language most sought-after by employers in Britain, new research shows.
A study published Wednesday by global recruitment site Indeed found that the number of jobs requiring German language skills rose by more than 10% over the last three years. In comparison, the number of positions requiring French speakers increased by just 1%.
Meanwhile, Chinese (which included both Mandarin and Cantonese) rose from the fifth most-required language skill to the third, with the number of jobs seeking Chinese speakers up by more than a third since 2016. Demand for Chinese speakers saw the biggest surge during the three-year period.
Indeed analyzed the requirements in millions of job advertisements posted on its website, which is searched by more than 250 million people per month.
Demand for German speakers peaked just before the Brexit referendum in June 2016, according to the data.
The total number of job roles specifying language skills as a prerequisite increased by almost 3% in the same period.
However, Indeed noted that Brexit's impact on migration could potentially lead to a "language gap" in the British employment market. According to the U.K.'s Office for National Statistics, net migration from the EU is now at its lowest level in a decade, which could signal a reduction in the talent pool when it comes to European language skills.
"Many U.K. employers who require multilingual staff are becoming increasingly unsettled as a perfect storm brews — fewer and fewer linguists are emerging from our education system just as Brexit uncertainty looks to be deterring workers relocating here from the EU," Bill Richards, U.K. managing director of Indeed, said in a press release.
"English is a global language, but that cannot always offset the need for fluent speakers of other languages. While the U.K. market clearly continues to offer many opportunities for those with additional language skills, there is a danger of a shortfall emerging as insufficient supply butts up against rising demand," he added.