Since 2004, five Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) staff have studied Pashto before being deployed in Afghanistan. 21 staff have also been trained in Dari—often building on an existing language base of Farsi—before working in Afghanistan. Currently there are nine studying Dari, who are due to be deployed to Afghanistan later this year.
We only started to hold management information about language skills centrally in 2004. Our system records those who have passed exams on completion of language courses funded by the FCO, so may not include those who did not take an examination, those whose acquisition of the language was not the result of class-based instruction, or whose studies were not funded by the FCO.
Across the UK estate the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has nine full time reception positions. The staff members who fill these positions are provided as part of the UK Reception Services Contract.
Responsibility for procuring reception services overseas has been devolved to posts within the FCO overseas estate. Each post would need to be contacted to obtain the details of their reception employees. As the information relating to reception staff overseas is not held centrally, it could be provided only at a disproportionate cost.