Talking Jobs: Lesson's from ENB's 2016 ESOL Student Employment Survey

Report Author: 
English for New Bostonians
Original Date of Publication: 
2016 Oct

English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) classes are a critical investment in immigrants' success in America. The study Talking Jobs: Lessons from ENB's 2016 ESOL Student Employment Survey from English for New Bostonians examines a survey of 1,463 adult students in 39 MA ESOL programs. Survey respondents are primarily involved in four main employment sectors: accommodation and food services, retail trade, healthcare and social assistance and other services such as facilities support. While the one million immigrants living in MA are only slightly more likely to work in the labor force compared to native-born workers, immigrant ESOL students have a labor force participation rate of 85 percent, compared to the general immigrant rate of 68 percent. Survey results suggest that foreign credentials are not always recognized by employers, and that limited English proficiency may prevent qualified immigrants from obtaining white-collar jobs. Significantly, half (50 percent) of survey respondents said that their coworkers required English classes. The authors recommend supporting investment in adult English programs through public and private sources, and that employers offer ESOL programs to their employees either on- or off-site with tuition reimbursement as incentive. (Sarah Purdy for The ILC Public Education Institute).

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English for New Bostonians (2016). Talking Jobs: Lesson's from ENB's 2016 ESOL Student Employment Survey. Boston: English for New Bostonians. 


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