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Concerns about TFL English language requirement for minicab drivers

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01 December 2016

Following concern from members and awarding bodies, we have written to Transport for London (TfL) highlighting our concerns over the introduction of extra language testing for London taxi drivers.  

We are primarily concerned about:

  • The use of terminology 'B1 of the CEFR'. B1 roughly equates to the domestic level Entry 3 but this is not clearly stated.  For the sake of parity, at the very least the TFL website should mention Skills for Life ESOL and Functional Skills English qualifications and the range of awarding bodies that offer them. NATECLA has received representations from awarding organisations worried that their nationally recognized qualifications will not be acceptable.  
  • The website and associated documents list first the private ISE qualification (which costs £180) before any
    mention of qualifications the drivers may already have. 
NATECLA has long campaigned for domestic ESOL and other qualifications to be recognized by employers. Using an international qualification which has been designed for those seeking citizenship or settlement mapped to an international scale (CEFR) as the first choice undermines the status of domestic Skills for Life examinations and Functional Skills English (which is specifically designed for those wishing to use their skills in the workplace). The TFL documentation makes no mention of the national curriculum levels for England and Wales. 

NATECLA has written to Transport for London to request a meeting so this issue can be discussed in more detail.

>> See our full list of concerns

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