Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Which came first - the job or the immigrant?


In its latest piece of well-researched scaremongering, Migration Watch has been speaking of the number of jobs filled by immigrant workers - and now some government advisors suggest that immigrants have "displaced" UK workers:

The government's official advisers on migration say there is a link between immigration from outside the European Union and job losses among UK workers.

The Migration Advisory Committee said there were 23 fewer UK jobs for every 100 migrants from outside the EU.

The implication of this reporting (and it's the BBC so will have been written carefully) is that British workers are being sacked to make way for immigrant labour. This is, however you want to look at it, both a dangerous statement and utter rubbish.

The problem isn't with British workers, it's with British non-workers. Immigrant labour is (and I've heard this time and time again) more reliable, hard-working and less trouble than native British workers. But more importantly, immigrants are filling those jobs because the native British workers aren't. The jobs come before the immigrants - people don't trog across half a continent at their own expense if there isn't a pretty good prospect of work.

Here in Cullingworth there's a chicken factory. It makes a living (sometimes to the annoyance of residents) killing said birds and shipping them across the UK and Europe. All the work force are Eastern European. Yet Bradford has high rates of unemployment especially among unskilled young men. Killing chickens seems like a job they could do but, I guess, choose not to.

If those British workers took those jobs, the immigrants wouldn't come here to fill them. Rather than running scare stories about immigration, we should be asking why - during such tough times - British workers aren't taking those jobs?


No comments: