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Getting Australian PR- New English Language Test Proposed

June 2018, 21
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The Australian government believes that migrants should learn English as it can improve their chances to get a job.

Migrants as well as refugees wishing to settle permanently in Australia must show the fact that they know English under a recent government proposal.

Alan Tudge, Citizenship Minister expressed his concern regarding many permanent residents having limited or nil English language skills.

Also the statistics reveal that nearly one million people residing in Australia cannot speak Basic English.

This lack of skills can downgrade the migrants to a life of depending on welfare. English is central for a socially interconnected nation.

There is an argument put forward against imposing severe requirements because of the positive experience of migrants who reached the country in the 1950s.  Most of them failed to acquire skills in English language but made a noteworthy contribution to develop Australia.

Connection to the past

Mr Tudge says that such comparisons are not valid because there are only few low-skilled jobs available today and rate of unemployment is high.

In the 1950s there was full employment for all the time. At an instance the unemployment rate was only 1.3 percent, whereas presently the unemployment rate is high. The entry-level jobs in Australia are not as obvious and those entry level jobs need occupational health and safety, for which a basic command of the English language is necessary. Owing to this there is a stark difference in the employment outcome between the people who have command and those who do not have it.

He went on to add that there would be great incentive to learn English when migrants apply for PR and had to pass a basic test in English language.

Additional facts

This is shift from the discussions in the past, when only citizenship was an issue. Without doubt acquiring the permanent residency is an important matter for many people. With the objective of social cohesion, verbal communication is vital for all. There needs to be an emphasis should be on it rather than on the ability to write.

Presently English is critical for successful settlement. The situation becomes better when a person goes to a university, acquires a qualification and joins the workforce.

In 2017, the government proposed to have an advanced English language test for applicants of Australian citizenship but the legislation could not get past the Senate.

Thinking of the government

PM Turnbull says the government understands and addresses the concerns, and has now proposed a test for spoken language skills similar to English used in primary school conversations.  The initial goal is making it more tilted towards conversational English of the primary school. It is a reasonable idea too. The government is working carefully with the migrant communities and all the people must recognise the ability to converse and engage in the national language. It is obvious to all that the country is English-speaking. All the people must achieve their best.

The Labor party believes that the government needs to put more resources into learning of English language. It demands more information about the proposal.

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