Why is English important in the workplace in Australia?


Why is English important in the workplace in Australia?

It is often asked, “Why is English important in the workplace in Australia?” Yes, it is true that people may have the ability to do a job, however English is the official language of Australia and a good level of English is required. A few examples of why are:

· Working in dangerous areas, such as a building site or factory. You will need to know and understand occupational health & safety (OHS).

· Read signs and follow instructions. (OHS)

· Read and understand policies and procedures (OHS)

· Report and discuss work to your employer and co-workers

· Answer the phone or make calls.

· Good written English to complete work such as reports and emails

· Complete training for job requirements and/or fulfill your career pathway

· Socialising and making friends at work

· Explaining or negotiating

· Understand your rights at work

· Checking your pay

I will use the example of a cleaner, whose job is to clean an office when the officer workers have finished for the day. Some examples of why a cleaner requires a good level of English are:

· Reading the communication book left by the employer to give guidelines of cleaning duties or additional cleaning to follow and complete. Additionally, you may need to leave a message for the employer.

· Communicating with the employer face to face or via phone, email, or text.

· Reading cleaning safety labels on cleaning products and abiding by cleaning guidelines (OHS).

· Read and understand policy and safety procedures of the company.

These are just a few examples of why a good level of English is required for the workplace. There are English Education Programs available and you may be eligible for free English Classes through the Adult Migrant English Program (AMEP). English classes are also a good way of socialising and making new friends. It can build your confidence and self-esteem, empowering you to continue onto further training and employment.