We’re now over halfway through 2023; time sure does fly. Here is our roundup of what’s been happening in IELTS & global migration since we left you in June.
The Latest IELTS News
As always, there have been some key developments in the IELTS world over the last month, from 14 test centres in India being closed down to the first computer-based IELTS tests being made available in Ilocos in the Philippines. Read on to learn more…
14 IELTS Test Centres Closed Down In India
A number of IELTS training centres across India have been found to have been operating illegally. At least 14 such centres in Malerkotla and Ludhiana districts, Punjab, India, have been directed to halt operations until they can present valid permission documents and comply with health and safety guidelines for visitors.
Only four of those who have been forced to close held licences to deliver IELTS training, whilst the Tribune India has reported that many of the illegal test centres were extremely overcrowded – in one case, only one tutor was teaching a room of over 100 candidates.
If you have been affected by this, remember our training takes place online in either one-to-one sessions or small groups of five!
Launch of the First Computer-Delivered IELTS Lab in Ilocos
IDP Philippines has announced a new ‘premier’ centre in the Ilocos region of the country that will provide the computer-delivered IELTS exam.
One of the highlights of the computer-based IELTS is its convenience. Candidates can complete the Reading, Listening, and Writing segments of the exam on a computer, followed by a video call speaking test with an IELTS examiner, thus accomplishing the entire test within a single day. Results can be expected within three to five days, and there are multiple testing schedules to choose from.
International Migration News
People taking the IELTS test often keep their ears to the ground when it comes to news in their target countries. So, whether you’re planning to work or study, we’ve rounded up the latest migration news from countries like the UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.
New Zealand Aims to Attract Global Talent by Easing Migration Rules
Reuters is reporting plans announced by the New Zealand government that aim to relax migration rules for skilled workers as they try to attract more global talent to settle in the country. This move comes as various prosperous countries are easing their immigration policies or increasing immigration quotas to allow businesses to fill workforce shortages. This necessity has arisen in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, which led to stricter border controls and excluded foreign workers.
Immigration Minister Michael Woods announced that the country would be removing the annual cap on highly skilled immigrants and expedite the process for achieving permanent residency.
Starting in October, the government intends to simplify its point-based system for selecting skilled immigrants. This step aims to hasten the visa application review process and provide migrant workers with more clarity regarding their eligibility.
Even though New Zealand doesn’t have a formal limit on the yearly count of skilled resident visas, it utilises a ‘planning range’ system that indirectly restricts the number of immigrants achieving permanent residency.
These changes are being implemented as the country’s labour market remains robust, with unemployment rates close to record lows and labour force participation reaching an all-time high in the March quarter since records began in 1993.
Australia & India Agree on A New Migration Deal
Both Australia and India are celebrating a new migration deal which promises to relax visa regulations and bolster labour mobility. A new pilot scheme, called MATES, forms a crucial part of this agreement. The deal comprises alterations to visa regulations aimed at increasing labour mobility. As the program is introduced, it will eventually provide around 3,000 spots annually for Indian skilled workers and professionals to gain permanent residence in Australia.
With Indians being the largest migrant population in Australia already and contributing almost double the amount of skilled workers to the country as the next closest nation (England), it is hoped that this deal will allow Australia to plug larger skill gaps in parts of the labour market through attracting more skilled talent from the sub-continent.
Parts of the agreement will also be aimed at helping more students travel to Australia. Speaking about the new deal, Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese spoke of how he was “keen to see more connections — more Australian and Indian students living and studying in each other’s countries, and bringing those experiences home.”
See you in July!