A working group to increase the economic benefits of bilingualism
Moncton, June 3, 2019 - The New Brunswick Business Council and the Conseil économique du Nouveau-Brunswick announced today that they will create a working group to increase the economic benefits of bilingualism in the province. Thus, they are implementing the main recommendation of the study by the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages for New Brunswick: Two languages: It’s good for business.
The authors of this study, economist Pierre-Marcel Desjardins and economic development specialist David Campbell, presented an update of their study when the creation of the working group was announced.
Two languages: It’s good for business presents nine major economic benefits attributable to the province's bilingual character and workforce. For example, thanks to its two official languages, New Brunswick has a customer contact center and back office industry generating $ 1.5 billion annually in export revenues and employs more than 15,000 people in the province. In this regard, unilingual English individuals in the province represent the majority of employees in this industry. Indeed, every bilingual job created in the customer contact centers resulted in the creation of two unilingual English jobs. Among the other benefits of bilingualism, the authors highlight its key role in the development of a language industry, in the growth of export revenues and in the development of the tourism industry.
The authors of the study also propose ways to consolidate these gains and exploit the full economic potential of bilingualism. Finally, they recommend the creation of a business / government council to achieve this goal.
Representatives from the working group explained that they want to create a synergy to further take advantage of the bilingual character of the province. They also noted that other stakeholders may join the group.
Opportunities NB will provide a perspective to the working group on behalf of New Brunswick’s economic development sector.
Quote from Michel A. Carrier, Commissioner of Official Languages for New Brunswick
I congratulate and thank the New Brunswick Business Council, the Conseil économique du Nouveau-Brunswick and Opportunities New Brunswick for their leadership on this important file for the prosperity of our province.
Quote from Adrienne O’Pray, President & CEO of the New Brunswick Business Council
The Business Council believes that there is even greater opportunity for the province in terms of economic growth that is yet untapped for New Brunswick. We are looking forward, once again, to working in partnership with le Conseil économique du Nouveau-Brunswick and Opportunities New Brunswick to diversify our economy and taking advantage of this incredible asset we have in bilingualism.
Quote from Thomas Raffy, CEO of the Conseil économique du Nouveau-Brunswick
Economic bilingualism has long been an important issue for the Conseil économique du Nouveau-Brunswick and its members, who see it as a powerful driver of development for our province. As this study reconfirms, the bilingualism of our workforce is an indisputable asset that we must use to diversify our economy. We are very pleased to be part of this working group whose actions will have a real impact on our future.
Quote from Stephen Lund, CEO of Opportunities New Brunswick
We recognize the benefits of bilingualism to our economy and the significant role it plays in driving private sector investment in New Brunswick. We are pleased to see these organizations working together on this important initiative.
For more information:
Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages for New Brunswick
506-444-4229 or 1-888-651-6444
Acting Vice President
Opportunities New Brunswick
President & CEO
New Brunswick Business Council
Conseil économique du Nouveau-Brunswick