Australian Citizenship: Migrants to face tougher English language test
After Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton's speech in February, Citizenship Minister Alan Tudge has said the government will seek to expand English-language tests for migrants.
The federal government is keen to introduce English test for migrants to become eligible for acquiring Australian citizenship and Citizenship Minister Alan Tudge has flagged the idea of toughening English-language tests on Wednesday.
Mr Tudge, who took over the citizenship portfolio in December's ministerial reshuffle, has said Australia's multiculturalism model is at risk - unless significant policy intervention addresses the issue of lower integration rates and falling English-language skills, The Australian reports.
Mr Tudge says current policy settings are no longer adequate, amid emerging ethnic enclaves and falling rates of spoken English.
"Australia is the most successful multicultural country in the world," he says in a written speech to be delivered tonight to the 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," Mr Tudge said.
"Poorer English (also) means that the prospect of getting a good job is diminished."
He says that recent research shows migrants who spoke English very well were 3.7 times more likely to be employed in 18 months after arrival than those who had poor English.