The University of Bath is introducing a new general English language test this month for people looking for work in the UK.
Language skills are one part of a new points-based immigration system which was launched in the UK last year to determine those who are eligible for a visa.
University of Bath English Language Testing (UBELT) is offered to medical professionals and students, seeking to work in an English speaking environment and has carried out over 4,000 tests to date.
Since the launch of the UK Border Agency points-based system, UBELT tests have been used by visa applicants from the medical professions, including doctors, nurses and a radiographer.
Now, due to a large number of requests from other professions such as academic researchers, accountants, IT specialists, chefs and even an Imam, the University is introducing a new general profession English language test.
This test will be available from June, for Tier 1 and Tier 2 visa applicants.
Kevin Renfrew, a language specialist at the University of Bath, welcomed the development.
He said: “We have a lot of expertise in testing English language skills, and are pleased to be able to expand the UBELT suite of tests to include a test for border and immigration purposes.
“We receive several calls a day from non-medical professionals who want to take a UBELT Test, but up until now we have not been able to offer a suitable test.”
UBELT Tests assess an individual’s ability to communicate in English by investigating their level of fluency, flexibility and accuracy when they are asked to communicate on a wide range of topics, including professional ones.
Mr Renfrew added: “A key feature of the UBELT test, to candidates and employers alike, is that testing can be arranged at short notice at the University of Bath, on a date and at time to suit the test taker. This coupled with the fact that results and certificates can be delivered within hours of testing makes the UBELT test particularly appealing to UKBA visa applicants.”
The University has already received a number of applications for the new test from across the UK.