Monday, 12 February 2007
A Decent Policy? - Unemployed to learn English
Welfare minister Jim Murphy is to say that those people who are unemployed and cannot speak English will have to show they are learning the language or face losing their benefits.
Poor English is a barrier to around 40,000 people when trying to find employment and £4.5m is spent on translators in job centres. Ministers say this money would be better spent on teaching them English.
Mr Murphy is to say at a speech in London: "We must utilise the resources we have to redress the balance: to put the emphasis not just on translating language to claim a benefit, but to teaching language to get a job."
The new guidelines which are to come into effect in April, require job centres in England to encourage enrolment in English courses. Also £14m is to be spent offering 15,000 places on courses in employability training, basic skills and language skills with the Learning and Skills Council.
Civitas suggests a third of households in the UK rely on benefits for their main income.
I can't believe it - our money, being spent on something sensible?