UK biscuit maker McVities, part of United Biscuits, has said it is launching a new e-learning language scheme for its workers.

The company said the move is in response to the increasingly multinational workforce of the food manufacturing industry. It hopes that by encouraging staff back into learning it will increase productivity.

Using the language courses provided by Ivy Learning Services, McVities will encourage both foreign staff to learn English and English-speaking staff to reengage in learning by trying their hand at a foreign language.

"The benefits of language learning within the manufacturing industry are huge because we are seeing a massive shift in the nature of our workforce. Until recently in our area there was a very low influx of foreigners, but now eight different languages are spoken within our factory. This has meant the need for new initiatives such as incorporating languages in our training centre. We are already seeing the benefits, including increased communication, morale, motivation and productivity among the workforce," said Alistair Richardson, learning centre manager at the McVities centre in Carlisle.