Recruitment, THE GRAPEVINE! news, comment & a bit of gossip, The Regions

– IDS urges British firms to hire British workers

IDS urges firms to hire British jobless

In a speech in Madrid, the Work & Pensions Secretary and creator of the biggest reform in the benefits systems Ian Duncan Smith, made a plea for British firms to employ the British jobless rather than recruiting from abroad. this British jobs for British Workers?

In his speech Mr Duncan Smith reported that more than half of new jobs created in the UK went to foreign nationals. He warned that the government would be unable to carry its policy to cut unemployment with welfare reform unless immigration and British workers do not have to face so much competition from foreign workers. He said:


“If we do not get this right then we risk leaving more British citizens out of work, and the most vulnerable group who will be the most affected are young people.

“But government cannot do it all. As we work hard to break welfare dependency and get young people ready for the labour market, we need businesses to give them a chance, and not just fall back on labour from abroad.”

The concern of the number of jobs going to foreign workers appears to be borne out by official figures uncovered by the Labour MP Frank Field which show that 87% of the 400,000 jobs created over the first year of the coalition government went to workers from abroad.


However, these comments have brought a robust defence of using foreign labour from David Frost, Chair the British Chamber of Commerce who repeated the concerns expressed by business, that many British workers lack the basic skills in reading, writing, communicating, and a strong work ethic.  In an interview with Radio 4 Mr. Frost said:


 “Too often …there is a stream of highly able Eastern European migrants who are able to fill those jobs.

“They are skilled, they speak good English and, more importantly, they want to work.”


John Walker, the National Chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses appears to agree with the British Chamber of Commerce suggesting that it is crucially important to solve these employment barriers by undertaking a root and branch review of our entire education system:


“Small firms will always take on the staff best placed to do the job. But for too long governments have focused exclusively on getting young people to university, instead of preparing students for work through vocational qualifications and apprenticeships as in countries like Germany.”


The consensus is that the government should consider a review of the British education system. However any policy which bars skilled persons from within the European Union will be met with anger from the employers and further strain UK relations with other EU member countries and possibly legal action.

Website:  BBC, the Independent
David Healey
Project Support

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