Bognor Regis and Littlehampton MP Nick Gibb wants to see a rise in the number of young people who choose to study a foreign language at GCSE.
Mr Gibb made the comments in response to the Department for Education’s recent proposal for nine centres of excellence in the teaching of foreign languages across England, with the aim of spreading best practice and encouraging more young people to study a language.
Speaking live from Bognor Regis seafront on Good Morning Britain about the proposals to boost the uptake of pupils studying a foreign language, Mr Gibb said it was ‘essential’ for young people.
He said: “Currently 47 per cent of young people study a foreign language to GCSE.
“We want that to rise further still.
“Languages are essential when it comes to understanding cultures and widening opportunities.
“Nearly two-thirds of employers say they value language skills among their employees.”
Mr Gibb, who has been MP for Bognor Regis and Littlehampton since 1997, added: “West Sussex is an important tourist area with 1.6 million visitors a year, of which 663,000 are from overseas, including 95,000 from France, 58,000 from Spain and 45,000 from Germany in 2016.”