MANILA – Filipino workers wanting to work in the Cayman Islands must now take an English language test as an additional requirement before they can work in the said country.
Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz said the Cayman Islands Department of Immigration (DOI) implemented the English language test last July 1, 2014 for prospective foreign employees who are not native English speakers.
Prospective employees shall be required to undergo examination by one of the two recognized English Testing Centers from the workers’ own country prior to travelling to Cayman Islands.
The two testing centers are the International English Language Test (IELTS) and Test of English for International Communication (TOEIC), each of which has test centers operating in many countries, including the Philippines.
According to Labor Attache to the US, Luzviminda Padilla, testing fees are determined by the testing center and shall be shouldered by the applicant, as well as other arrangements.
"Workers taking the English language test must score within the following ranges to be able to secure their work permits: for IELTS: Band Score Level 6 and for TOEIC: Band Score Level B2. For countries with no accredited testing centers, applicants may be required to travel to Cayman Islands for testing,” she added.
For her part, Baldoz expressed confidence that the requirement will not pose a difficult hurdle for Filipinos.
"English is the second language of instruction in our schools and a language we use in the workplace. We are confident that our OFWs can pass the test easily," she said.
However, Baldoz advised those taking the test to make sure their testing centers are accredited by the IELTS or TOEIC to avoid problems with their work permit applications.
The Cayman Island said tests taken prior to 1 July 2014 will be accepted provided that the test results are not older than two years. Employers are responsible for advising their potential employees from non-English speaking countries of this requirement.
For prospective employees with no available testing result/ certification on-hand, applicants are required to provide proof of having taken the test with either of the two selected testing centers in their country of origin and based on the particular test center used – as specified on the application form – the worker will be prompted to state certain details of his/her results. This requirement placed as a condition of their temporary or full work permit must be satisfied prior to their arrival in Cayman Islands.
DOLE said there are about 2,684 Filipinos living and working in Cayman Islands.