Skip to main content


Volume 470: debated on Monday 7 January 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many staff in his Department received language training in each of the last 10 years; and if he will make a statement. (172534)

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:








To provide specific information on how many staff have been trained in previous years would incur disproportionate cost.