The Importance of IELTS in International Recruitment

Posted on: 16.08.2011    13:12:57

We read on a daily basis about international skills shortages and the difficulty in filling skills gaps but all countries operate to minimum standards. We don’t make the rules, but we understand that rules need to be applied as part of the sifting process used in international recruitment.

There are many standards but put simply the world speaks IELTS which stands for the International English Language Testing System.

Educational institutions, along with employers and government immigration agencies, require proof of English language skills as part of their recruitment or admittance procedures. Increasingly, these organisations are choosing IELTS.

IELTS is owned by Cambridge ESOL, the British Council and IDP: IELTS Australia.

Over 1.4 million people a year use IELTS to open doors throughout the English-speaking world and beyond. IELTS is recognised by more than 6,000 organisations worldwide.

The tests are available in more than 130 countries in over 800 locations, with test dates available up to four times a month. Costs are modest compared to the benefits and on line practice facilities exist to improve the chances of success.

The IELTS test comes in two modules:

  • Academic – this module is for people wishing to study in English at undergraduate or postgraduate levels, and for those seeking professional registration
  • General Training – this module is for people wishing to migrate to an English-speaking country (e.g. Australia, Canada, New Zealand, UK), and for those wishing to train or study in English at below degree level.

Candidates are tested in Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking. All candidates take the same Listening and Speaking tests. There is a choice between Academic and General Training in the Reading and Writing tests.

The IELTS scoring system is recognised globally, giving you a truly international result. Test takers receive a score of 0–9, with 0 being for those who did not attempt the test, and 9 being for the most proficient users. Most universities accept scores between 6–7 as being suitable for undergraduate study in English.

For those wishing to work in Australia the threshold was raised in July 2011 and a minimum of 5 in each discipline is needed to be considered for any position. Higher positions will require higher levels, healthcare for example.

There are a few ways of avoiding the need for IELTS but for any candidate getting this qualification in place is recommended and will enable any application to be fast tracked by international recruitment agencies. Indeed it shows your commitment to the process of getting work in Australia for example.

Indeed many international recruitment agencies will not consider an application without an IELTS test certificate.


Author: Chris Slay

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