English tests for public sector workers would be compulsory under a Labour proposal.
13 April 2010
English tests might become compulsory for all public sector UK migrants
All UK public sector migrant workers will be required to take English tests, under manifesto pledges announced by Gordon Brown.
Nurses, community support officers, social workers, call centre staff, all other workers who come in contact with the general public will have to pass a test to get a job. The present requirement covers only doctors from outside Europe, police officers and teachers.
The issues around immigration to the UK are expected to be key during the 2010 election.The Labour proposals are designed to dispel widespread concern among voters about dealing with public sector workers who do not have a strong grasp of English and to demonstrate that the party is strict on immigration.
The new Labour policy document says current English language requirements that apply only to non-EU public workers will be extended 'to ensure all employees who have contact with the public have an appropriate level of . . . competence'.