Wanted! Mandarin speakers for British businesses

Harrods has hired some 200 staff who can speak Mandarin, with more set to follow. Photo credit – Pixabay


Businesses across the UK are looking for Mandarin speakers to assist a growing number of Chinese visitors.


Last week, we reported that Chinese visitors now spend more at London’s iconic department store Harrods than people from the UK for the first time.

As part of that story, Harrods revealed that it had hired some 200 staff who can speak Mandarin, with more set to follow.

This echoes businesses from across the UK, who are on the hunt for Mandarin speakers to help them welcome more guests from China.

In the North of England, for example, Manchester Evening News reports that hundreds of shop staff are being taught Mandarin alongside hiring of native speakers.

In Yorkshire, as we reported in October, hotels are increasingly ensuring that Mandarin speakers are available to assist Chinese guests.

Indeed, the situation is the same across the United Kingdom. All of the nationwide employment websites now have sections dedicated to Mandarin speaking positions.

Interestingly, these are increasingly available in industries outside the traditional sales and hospitality positions.

This reflects the fact that,  British businesses of all kinds are looking beyond Europe to post-Brexit trading opportunities with China.

When I was at school, Mandarin wasn’t even offered as an option to learn. Now, it’s one of the most popular languages for British students. I’m going to enrol for an adult learning course instead!

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