English Language Requirement (Wales and Scotland)
In 2013 the Government announced a rigorous, systematic approach to ensuring that Jobseekers Allowance and Universal Credit full conditionality claimants with very poor spoken English improve their language skills with sanctions for non-participation.
From April 2014, new Jobseekers Allowance and Universal Credit (all-work related requirements group) claimants in England will be screened for basic English language skills from the start of their claim. Where their standard of spoken and listening English is thought to be poor, claimants will be referred to contracted suppliers to undertake a full assessment of their English speaking and listening skills. Where the claimant is assessed as having below Entry 2 (the level of a 7 to 9 year old) English speaking and listening skills, contracted suppliers will deliver appropriate training to improve this standard by one level. Any failure to participate may result in a benefit sanction. The current English Language Requirements provision delivered in England was contracted for and is funded by the Department for Business Innovation and Skills.
DWP are now looking to procure similar, separate provision for this claimant group in Scotland and in Wales (as separate contracts) estimated to begin in the autumn of 2014.