Retail union Usdaw’s campaign to keep English language courses free for migrants wins support from MPs

The retail union Usdaw’s campaign to keep the English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) initiative free for migrant workers has gathered pace.

More than 45 MPs have signed an Early Day Motion against the Learning and Skills Council’s  proposal to charge overseas workers in the retail sector up to £400 for English language courses.

Usdaw general secretary John Hannett said: “Making sure migrant workers can access free ESOL courses is about much more than allowing work colleagues to communicate better.

“It’s about promoting mutual respect and understanding as well as tackling the evils of racism and social division.”

In October the Learning and Skills Council announced its intention to change the funding for ESOL so migrant workers receiving Working Families Tax Credits would be exempt from paying. However, other migrant workers have to pay a £300-£400 tuition fee.

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