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Finding a job when English is not your first language

As you may have already discovered, finding a job when English is not your first language can be a challenging task. With increasing health and safety regulations, employers and recruitment agencies across Leicester have implemented stricter registrations and initial assessments for prospective employees.

As a proactive employment and training provider, Business 2 Business have also changed the ways we help our customers prepare for the labour market, with a stronger focus on improving English, Maths and Employability skills. We offer courses that cover each of the topics and focus on how our customers can increase their confidence, knowledge and application within a work environment. Below are our top tips on how to find a job when English is not your first language.

1. Establish your level of English

Firstly, you need to know if your current level of reading, writing and speaking English is good enough for the jobs you are applying for.

In most cases this will be listed in the requirements section of the job description. For most care and warehouse roles you will be required to have a minimum of Entry Level 2 English. To find out what level of English you are at you can click here. If you are unsure, our Skills Hub can help you to determine this.

Other things you can do to determine whether your level of English is good enough in preparation for work, is to ensure you can:

· Complete your personal details on a basic job application form

· Read and reply to emails

· Understand simple health and safety instructions and understand the meaning of signs/symbols

· Read information that will be relevant to the jobs you are applying for e.g. read information on scanners if you are applying for warehouse jobs or reading medication details if you are applying for care roles

· Successfully complete initial assessments – You can ask your Community Coach for practice tests

2. Do an English course

If your English skills are not at the required level for the roles you are applying for, you should research and enroll onto a suitable English course.

It may seem obvious but many of our customers who are not confident in speaking, reading or writing English have never considered completing an English course before.

Completing a short English course whilst you are not employed will give you a useful platform for a lifetime. It will transform your job prospects, increase your confidence both at work and at home and help you feel part of society.

It is worthwhile researching the various courses available.

3. Do your English course at Business 2 Business

Our FREE, 6-week English courses are equivalent to Entry Level 2 and 3. They take place during school hours and therefore cater to parents with childcare responsibilities. Our course is designed to give individuals the confidence and knowledge of English they need to progress in their career, life at home and within their local community.

Why you should do an English course at Business 2 Business

· To improve your job prospects – Doing a short English course now will improve your likelihood of getting a job later

· Increase your communication skills – Completing our English course will help you to integrate within your wider community and increase social inclusion

· Enhance your family life – Doing an English course will enable you to help your children with their homework or help elderly relatives complete forms etc.

· Give you confidence – Most importantly our English course will help you meet other people and give you the skills to keep updated with current affairs, follow recipes, send emails and become independent in all areas of life

· 100% of previous customers that have completed the course would recommend it to a friend

4. Prepare your CV and cover letter and practice interview techniques

Your Community Coach at Business 2 Business can help you create a CV and cover letter template that you can use and amend each time you apply for a job. When English is not your first language it is even more important to memorise and rehearse your employment history, duties, core skills etc.

Your Community Coach can also help you to prepare for interviews by asking typical interview questions and helping you rehearse ideal answers based on your skills, qualifications and previous experience. This is a great opportunity to get an understanding of vocabulary used in interviews as well as practice tenses to improve your confidence for the real thing.

5. Practice makes perfect

Once your understanding of English is close to the standard you need for the roles you are applying to, you need to practice to ensure that you can successfully complete basic job applications and initial assessments.

You can do this by listening to the radio, reading articles on social media, watching the news or YouTube videos and reading with your children.

Your Community Coach at Business 2 Business can provide further support and resources so you can complete practice initial assessments.

For more information on our English, Maths or Employability courses please contact us.


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