Learn English or lose benefit

  whatustaring@ 12:34 12 Feb 07

Is this for real...? why dont the goverment look at other area's to educate people IE: the ones without drivers licence help them get it or some kinda confidence builder course to get some of the jobless up & looking,i think unless your a foreigner then i see this as a way just to cut benifits.....

click here

  GANDALF <|:-)> 13:12 12 Feb 07

I would have thought common sense would decree that the first thing to learn if you are in a foreign country and hoping to work there would be the language, or am I missing something really obvious here?


  tammer 13:13 12 Feb 07

Seems fair enough to me.

  Watchful 13:18 12 Feb 07

Sounds like common sense to me.

  bremner 13:19 12 Feb 07

Of course there should be a requirement to understand and speak English to obtain a job.

  Kate B 13:24 12 Feb 07

I agree that it's obviously a good idea to learn the language, but I'm uncomfortable with tying benefits to it.

If people are quite happy to move here and not even attempt to learn our language in order to find themselves a job then why should we, the British taxpayers, fund their living?

  Bingalau 13:50 12 Feb 07

Methinks we are opening another can of worms here. ..Bingalau..

  bremner 13:51 12 Feb 07

The benefits will only be cut or removed if someone who is unemployed and refuses to learn English to improve their chances of getting a job.

What do you suggest we should do?

I for one do not pay my taxes to support those are not prepared to seek work - whether they are immigrants or those born here.

  Kate B 14:00 12 Feb 07

bremner, you don't get to choose where your taxes go, so I'm afraid you do support people not prepared to seek work.

I'm uncomfortable with any kind of compulsion tied to benefits. The system was set up to support people unable to find work and I think that attaching all kinds of caveats to it in a post-hoc way is certainly contrary to the spirit of the welfare state. I do think that obviously your chances of securing a job are much greater if you speak English well and frankly I'd worry if someone went to live in a foreign country and didn't bother to attempt to learn the language: it's insular, to say the least.

But by definition your chances of finding a job are reduced if you can't speak the language, which in itself must be an incentive to get on with learning it. Quite apart from any moral reservations I have about the scheme, on a practical level it's another layer of bureaucracy to impose such a caveat and then police it, and God knows the benefits system is labyrinthine enough without making it worse.

  tullie 14:13 12 Feb 07

I lived in Australia for 20 odd years,and the first thing i did was learn the language

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