Experts from The University of Manchester have called for better language provisions to help non-English speakers into the workplace, after their research found that language proficiency is the most common barrier to employment for newcomers to the city.

An estimated 1,000 people are on waiting lists to access ESOL (English as Second or Other Language) courses in Manchester, while providers are struggling to find funding to maintain classes.The University’s Multilingual Manchester research unit has worked with Manchester City Council to review its provisions for people coming to the region who do not speak English as their first language.

Interpreting and Translation Studies lecturer Dr Rebecca Tipton, Research Associate Dr Huw Vasey and a team of student assistants surveyed advanced learners of English to find out about their needs and aspirations, and to identify ways to improve provisions.