Soon the English language test for migrant to become eligible to secure Australian citizenship will be tougher. The government of Australia is going to introduce new English test. The idea was revealed by Minister Alan Tudge. He took over the citizenship portfolio in December’s ministerial reshuffle and said that Australia’s multiculturalism model is at risk unless major policy intervention addresses the issue of lower integration rates and falling English-language skills.
He further said that the current policy settings are not sufficient, amid emerging ethnic enclaves and falling rates of spoken English.
The statement was given by Tudge at the Menzies Research Centre in Sydney, the spoke out on making Integration Work calls for frank reassessment of the responsibility to integrate.
“Australia is the most successful multicultural country in the world,” he said in a written speech to be delivered at Menzies Research Centre in Sydney.
“But I want to sound a note of caution: Australian multiculturalism is not God-given and cannot be taken for granted.
“Indeed, there is emerging evidence that we are not integrating as well as what we have done in the past. Moreover, there are external factors that weren’t present even a decade ago that make integration more challenging.”
“Our current policies do not address the challenges outlined above. In fact, there are very few formal requirements that encourage integration, adoption of Australian values and English proficiency.”
“This is particularly the case where the concentration of overseas born in particular suburbs is aligned with a considerable absence of English being spoken or understood,” Tudge said.
“Poorer English (also) means that the prospect of getting a good job is diminished.”
The recent research shows migrants who speak English very well are 3.7 times more expected to be employed in 18 months after arrival than those who were poor in English
Mr Tudge’s major statement comes just days after Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton in a speech at the National Press Club said the government was committed to reinforce the importance of English language in the steps to acquire citizenship.
“I can assure you that the Government remains committed to this reform, and will work with the crossbench on the basis of a new package of measures, flagged at the end of last year,” he said.
After the changes to the Citizenship Bill were struck down in October last year, Mr Dutton reduced the difficulty of the English test – from Band 6 to Band 5 under the international standard – to secure the support of the Senate.