Australia Implemented an English Test for All Taxi Drivers

Many immigrants and future citizens are worried by the latest news. Australian Transit bureau implemented a mandatory English language test for all taxi drivers in the country regardless their country of origin. This includes actual Aussies. On the surface there is nothing to worry but what comes next? A language test for residents?

All active cabbies will have to reapply for their licence in order to drive a taxi in the Australian soil. The measure is intended to address the problematic many citizens are raising for the past 10 years. It is ever day story that a taxi driver does not understand simple English and cannot follow basic directions. Sometimes practiced as an advantage to over charge a drive or avoid a ticket.

The test was originally intended for foreign Taxi drivers in Australia, however the Queensland Transportation office made it official for all drivers. The result was a 21% failing rate over a 864 tests. The figures talk by themselves. It is just a matter of time for Australia to include such test in other scenarios.

Don’t be surprised when a language test is included in the naturalization application or even for settlement purposes. Remember that the UK has a test applicable for every immigrant with intentions of settlement; this many times include residence and work permits and visas. How many times have we seen Australia copying regulations from mother England?

What is next? A Life in Australia Test for all settlers and a possible Online English for Speakers of Other Language course… 21% failing rate is a large number.

2 Comments

  • Andrew July 29, 2011 at 10:59 pm

    Your comments, whilst mostly accurate.
    Secondly, there is no plan to retest all cab drivers, only new applicants.
    Whether or not this should be applied to all applicants and deciding who should be exempt is very difficult. While it does seem strange to be Enghish tested in your own country, one should not assume that being born here means that you are literate and have the necessary numeracy skills for the job. Some taxi drivers with overseas degrees have better English skills than some people born here.
    The test was always intended for all applicants in all states and to establish uniformity. Some states have had such a test since 1994.

  • Sana Ullah Bilal November 30, 2011 at 5:28 pm

    It is a great decision. tourists and even native aussies suffer due to communication problems.

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