Migrants in low-paid, low-skilled jobs

Barriers and solutions to learning English in London

 | Greater London Authority (GLA) | Aug 2013

English language ability is central to finding a job and progressing in work in the UK. Previous research has pointed to the barriers that can confront migrants’ attempts to learn English.

This report provides an overview of the outcomes of research examining the particular challenges faced by migrants in low-paid, low-skilled jobs in London and outlines actions that can be taken to improve this situation.

The aim was to understand the enablers and barriers impacting on English language learning among migrants in low-paid and low-skilled employment in London and to establish the types of English language learning that are most likely to work for them.

A total of 50 migrant workers in low-paid, low-skilled were interviewed, 31 females and 19 males. The youngest was 17 and the oldest was 60. A third of the interviews were fully interpreted. Sixty per cent of the sample were employed as cleaners and 18 per cent worked in adult social care. The remaining interviewees worked in hospitality, retail and child care.