English Language: Education

Department for Education written question – answered on 8th November 2017.

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Photo of Layla Moran Layla Moran Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Education)

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps she is taking to incentivise employers to contribute towards the cost of English for Speakers of Other Languages classes for their employees.

Photo of Anne Milton Anne Milton Minister of State (Education), Minister for Women

We know that English language skills help people get into work, progress in their careers and integrate into life in England. This is why we provide full funding for English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) courses for adults who are job seekers on work-related benefits. We also co-fund other adults, such as employed learners, with the Government contributing 50% of course cost. This provides an incentive for others, including employers, to contribute to the costs of ESOL courses.

In the last financial year, the government also made £9.8 million available for work place based education and skills programmes through Unionlearn. A number of these projects focused on identifying and supporting employees with ESOL needs.

ESOL learners who complete their qualification benefit from a 6% wage premium within 3-5 years of completing their course. This indicates that employers value the benefits of language skills.

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