Figures have shown that China is the biggest provider of migrants to the UK. A majority of Chinese migrants are students from China coming to study in UK universities. Upon finishing their courses, these students typically apply for jobs in hopes of further honing their skills and gain experience in their respective industries.
Aside from challenges in terms of visa and starting their careers, these Chinese migrants are also facing another challenge in terms of employment, and that is getting out of the usual stereotype that the Chinese are better off selling items or delivering Chinese food. According to the Mandarin speaking jobs portal, ChineseJobsUK, here are the top five Chinese speaking jobs that are thriving in the UK today:
- Sales/Marketing Executives in retail or fashion and luxury stores – The global trend nowadays is that British companies are not only focused in sales within the UK but also exporting their products in other countries. China is currently one of the biggest customers especially in retail and luxury items so it is important to have someone who speaks the same language who can further improve sales and build good customer relationships with buyers from China.
- Financial/Banking Internships – Most financial or banking companies have graduate recruitment programmes that require language skills aside from the same skills as that of the native English speakers. Since these companies are multinational and have branches all over the world, these employers will be able to use your Chinese language skills or even assign you a post abroad at some point during your employment with them. This is one of the most common jobs for Chinese speakers as China has gained a lot of investment in other developed countries and most multinational firms already have established a branch in China; hence, the need for this crucial talent.
- Translators/Interpreters – Translation jobs are of technical or specialist type and will most likely require further studies as they need to be very good in both English and Chinese languages. Most translators and interpreters work on a freelance basis. Organisations who employ translators include financial companies, European institutions (although thorough knowledge of three EU languages is required), the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), the Security Service and translation agencies. Although interpreting is a small but stressful career area, most people who work as interpreters are freelancers. Some potential employers include international organisations such as the United Nations, NATO, and European Union institutions.
- Transport, Tourism and Leisure employees – With the trend of growing tourism these days, having a bilingual or even multilingual speaking employees is crucial for companies of this industry to thrive. Jobs in air and sea transport, courier or freight distribution, and even hotel management, travel agencies or tour guides are most likely fit for Chinese speakers especially now that there is an increasing rate of Chinese tourists as well as increasing demand for freight and courier distribution to and from China.
- Customer Service Executives – Whether Mandarin or Cantonese speaking, customer service executives serve as the initial point of contact for external partners who are searching for high net worth clients interested in the company’s primary services. They are responsible for offering customers the best and seamless customer experience. It is also their duty to demonstrate excellent networking skills, you will identify opportunities for developing relationships with new clientele and to nurture existing ones in order to increase high net worth client referrals.
- Some jobs are termed “career posts” as they are viewed as a way to live abroad for a little longer without necessarily any long-term prospect offers. It is generally easier to join a graduate training scheme of a UK-based multinational employer in the country, and then have them move to another country after two or three years, rather than getting an equivalent scheme abroad themselves. There are also non-EU countries who have work permit regulations that either prevent or limit these migrants from taking up employment. There are many websites that provide information on working abroad, either generally or in relation to specific countries.Chinese Jobs UK is a career website dedicated to help Chinese speakers in the UK obtain jobs according to their industry. You can view the latest Chinese speaking jobs posted on their site at chinesejobs.uk.
There are other industries that require Chinese speaking skills however these tend to be for individual specialised positions. So if you are looking to best utilise those Mandarin skills of yours, you now know where to start.