The report aims to deliver a uniform survey of English language proficiency among workforces worldwide. It measures English proficiency levels in 40 countries and 16 industries from accounting to telecommunications, with detailed score breakdowns for individual roles within 11 of those industries. These results hold real practical value when used as a benchmark against which to measure the English skills of one’s own company.
Despite a near universal recognition of English as the international language of business, wide gaps in workforce English proficiency persist between countries.
The average score of all respondents was 52.56 on our 100-point scale, but national scores ranged from 73.83 in the Netherlands to 33.64 in Iraq.
Executives speak less English than the managers below them. This is most likely due to generational differences, as English skills tend to be lower among older adults than among young professionals.
These generational differences notwithstanding, companies would greatly improve efficiency if executives' English were as good as their subordinates’.
The Consulting and Professional Services industry leads all sectors, but every industry surveyed has room for improvement. Surprisingly, several sectors with significant international exposure, such as aviation and logistics, have a very low English proficiency.
The industry profiles also show the English level of various job functions within several of the industries surveyed. This data will help business leaders to identify which areas of their organization would benefit the most from English training.
The EF English Proficiency Index for Schools
The EF English Proficiency Index for Companies (EF EPI-c) is an evaluation of global workforce English skills.
Participate in the next EF EPI report by taking the EF SET – the world's first free standardized English test.