No welfare without English lessons, say Tories

The Conservatives are planning on making unemployment benefit contingent on non-English speakers taking language classes.

Chris Grayling, shadow work and pensions secretary, will announce the policy at a speech later today on welfare reform.

Under the plans, non-English speakers who apply for unemployment benefit will be given mandatory English lessons in an effort to increase their employability.

The private or third sector groups which would run job centres under a Tory administration would then be given a larger financial reward for finding those with poor language skills employment.

Quizzed on how the plans would work, a Conservative spokeswoman told politics.co.uk: “When someone goes to the provider, they will be assessed and if their English isn’t up to scratch they will have to attend a mandatory English language training course. A higher price will then be put on their head in terms of the providers being paid per result.”

But the measures could see British citizens being denied welfare if they refuse to attend the classes.

The speech will further underline the Tories’ tough stance on welfare provision, with Mr Grayling expected to stress no young person should be sitting at home instead of going into work.

“We plan to introduce much tougher rules for young people under the age of twenty-one claiming job seekers’ allowance,” he will say.

“For this group, the welfare to work process will start much earlier. There will be employment ‘boot camps’ and community work programmes for those who don’t find a job. Staying at home doing nothing will be a thing of the past.”