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Poor English skills means UK misses out on migrants’ skills


The UK economy could be missing out on the skills of thousands of migrants because of their lack of English language skills according to a new report.

The report Learning and Skills Planning and provision for migrants from the accession states, by the Learning and Skills Network says the majority of migrants from the eight EU accession countries are highly qualified and skilled.

But their lack of English language skills means that many are failing to find jobs that match their experience and skills. The problem is made worse because many face complex hurdles when it comes to finding a language course to meet their needs.

Problems range from transport to courses for those living in rural areas to the fact that many migrants take on seasonal labour which means moving round the country and so having to drop out of courses.

Those who do stay in one place often work poorly-paid shifts which leaves them little free time to find out about English language courses.

The report says that all the relevant agencies should take a co-ordinated approach and find a way forward which addresses the issues faced by migrant workers.

Darshan Sachdev, research manager at the Learning and Skills Network, said: “Migrant workers are a valuable asset to our growing economy. To unlock their potential the relevant agencies need to take a joined-up approach that addresses the multiplicity of issues faced by these people.”

One Response

  1. Got it in one?
    My colleagues and I debated this headline and decided that it conveyed the wrong idea, but in doing that it proved the idea that it did convey.

    We decided that it conveyed the idea that it was the poor English skills of those in the UK that meant we missed out on migrants’ skills. But clearly, on reading the article, it was the poor English skills of the migrants that were the hinderance.

    We thought this a better headline:

    Poor migrant English skills means UK misses out on migrants’ other skills.

    Two extra words, but a lot more meaningful.

    I suppose it could have been worse, and written in ‘text speak’.

    Clearly I have too much time on my hands.

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