Skilled workers include butchers, carpenters, chefs, and welders. These kinds of job are in demand in English-communicating countries such as Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the UK, and the US. People with skill sets that match these jobs have wonderful opportunities abroad – not just monetary rewards, but also other benefits such as health insurance, petition of family, and other assistance.
There are several requirements in being a skilled worker in English-communicating countries. Age, number of years of experience, training, and good health are just some. Another common requirement by employers and agencies is proof of English communication ability. This is where the IELTS come in. Skilled workers would often be required to take the General Training module, with a band score requirement ranging from 4.5-6.5, depending on the institution asking for the exam.
But why is the IELTS required for skilled workers? There are several reasons.
- It is a requirement, who are we to complain? Employers want proof of your competency to communicate in their native language, and the way to prove that objectively is through the English exam. Without this English exam – and the acceptable marks – then your employer will not accept you. The choice has no grey areas: either submit your test result or get another employer.
- It provides the skilled worker an edge over others. Proof of communication abilities, especially if the score you have is high. Employers would set standards of communication proficiency that must be attained by those who wish to work in their industry. Also, employers would most likely consider the communication skills of an employee when it comes to giving opportunities for promotions.
- It provides assurance to the employer that the skilled worker will be able to perform his job well. Regardless of how skilled you are in performing tasks, there will always be instructions that you must follow, rules that you must comply with, and standards that you must maintain that may be exclusive to that particular employer. How will your employer be assured that you will be able to comply with all of these? Proving that you are able to understand and express in their native language is the key.
Although seen by many as a hurdle that they must overcome, the IELTS is not required for no reason. It is a real necessity for skilled workers and their employers as it serves as a form of certification regarding the competency of an employee to communicate.
The next question is this: How do we prepare for it?