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August 25, 2006

Work experience for students

Hello again.

Immigration figures for Eastern Europeans coming to the UK have turned out to be much higher than anyone expected they would be. The attraction is clearly the easy availability of work in some sectors, especially hotels and catering and skilled work in the building trade. But one criticism sometimes voiced is that the new migrants often have ...

...inadequate English. It strikes me that this opens a great opportunity for schools situated in the new EU member states.

One formula that schools might try is to partner with a UK school and offer a combination of home-country course followed by a brief immersion course in the UK or Ireland and then a work-experience placement. It would be possible to omit the UK immersion course but I think this would be helpful as an acclimatization experience.

To find suitable partner schools, search such sites as: http://www.englishinbritain.co.uk/ or http://www.englishuk.com/. To find out more about work placements visit: http://www.work-experience.org/ or this portal: http://www.londonmet.ac.uk/student-services/careers/the-employment-service/students/recruitment-websites/vacation-work-and-placements.cfm/.

Next year Bulgaria and Romania will become EU members. However, it is not yet clear whether these new members will have the same rights as existing ones with regards to working in the UK. However, for those already free to live and work here, language schools can play a vital part in preparing people to compete in the jobs market and operate successfully in an English-speaking environment.

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