At present the Foreign and Commonwealth Office has around 900 overseas jobs requiring specific levels of language skills, although this number will fluctuate to reflect business need. These posts will be filled by officers undergoing new training or using existing skills.
The level of language training has remained broadly constant over the past 10 years, at between 250 and 400 officers per year. This reflects the needs of the business at any one time and the availability of staff who already speak the relevant languages (e.g. at recruitment level, or from previous postings). The numbers of staff receiving full-time language training in the last three years was:
Staff 2006-07 252 2005-06 386 2004-05 405
To provide specific information on how many staff have been trained in previous years would incur disproportionate cost.