[photopress:universitychinesemba.jpg,full,alignright]Increasing numbers of Western business schools are scrambling to equip their students with the skills they need to understand China, but at the same time it is clear that more needs to be done.
According to a newly-published survey from management consultancy Hay Group, almost half of all British business leaders plan to recruit MBA graduates from China to make up a shortfall in the skills — notably language skills — needed to work in and trade with the country.
Britain currently produces fewer than 500 Mandarin Chinese language graduates a year, 41 per cent of UK business leaders said they would turn to Chinese staff. A number of business leaders said a module on China should be included in all European MBA courses. Executives expect China to be Britain’s single most important export market by 2009, worth 10 per cent of global revenues.
Deborah Allday, author of the report, wrote that the global economy was about to see ‘a war for talent both in China and in domestic markets’ as companies scramble to find managers able to do business in the world’s most populous nation. She said, ‘Companies who fund MBA study for employees should demand China modules on all courses. Business executives should start developing Chinese language skills now. And leaders with a track record in China should understand the value of this rare skill set.’