Food manufacturers are

trialling an online test that assesses migrant workers' understanding of the English language.

It was devised by Hull College and recruitment company Horizon European, headed by ex-Fox's Biscuits general manager Sue Patterson. Four suppliers are testing it:Northern Foods at its Sheffield ready meals business, Pennine Foods; pork processor Geo Adams; fruit producer Orchard House Foods; and poultry processor Moy Park.

"The test is contextualised around food manufacturing, so questions relate to things that might be

said in day-to-day life at work," Patterson said.

"It doesn't necessarily mean the applicant won't get the job if they have a low level of English - it just means they won't be put in a position they aren't able to deal with.

"In the case of packing jobs, migrant workers can be organised in teams with one good English speaker as the main communicator."