More than 200 Ford workers, based in Warley, Romford, and Dagenham, have applied for courses to learn foreign languages in readiness for this country entering the Common Market.
Shortly after Harold Wilson announced the Government’s plan the company arranged a series of courses with Hornchuch College of Further Education and Thurrock Technical College.
Ford training and administration officers were then asked to inform employees likely to deal with overseas customers.
“The demand is better than we thought it would be.” said a company spokesman. “The most popular language is German, followed by French, Spanish and Russian.”
One aim of the courses is to give the firm’s employees training in the spoken side of the language they are studying.
“Time and time again highly qualified linguists, such as honours graduates, have been unable to negotiate because they do not know the day to day version of the language,” said a spokesman from Thurrock College.