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ESOL For Work courses still leave fears for many needing English language support

17 October 2007 | last updated: 14 December 2015

UCU today expressed continuing concern about the provision of English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL), following a government announcement regarding new ESOL For Work courses.

UCU general secretary, Sally Hunt, said: 'We welcome moves to satisfy those with English language needs. Obviously employer take-up and contribution to this initiative will be very important, as many migrant workers are on very low pay and cannot prioritise spending on language skills.

'We still have very big concerns about the impact of changes in entitlement to ESOL, which may be having a number of unintended consequences. It is not clear that the new qualifications will satisfy citizenship criteria or help UK citizens in settled communities.'

'New courses must be of adequate length and best quality. Migrants don't just need English language skills to read health and safety notices - they need them to progress in work and to play a full role in their local community.'