Should we advertise abroad for a new Cabinet (citing lack of local skills)?

Voters will join up two of today’s main stories even if politicians do not. About 140 thousand manufacturing jobs will be lost this year according to the Electrical Engineering Federation Industry Group.

And the other story? Twenty years after the fall of the Berlin wall, Western Leaders were told yesterday that five million jobs could be lost in the ‘new’ European Union countries of the East, unless radical action is taken to bail them out. If we take no action it is likely many of these unemployed workers will be heading our way.

Let me add a third story, which none of the media had the sense to hunt out. Last year over 150,000 work permits were issued allowing workers from outside the E.U. to come and work here.

50,000 of these permits were given to workers with degrees, and on this basis were allowed to come to Britain to search for a job, not having a known job to come to. 
The other 100,000 plus work permits went to people outside the EU who had skills which, it was claimed, could not be filled by local or EU labour.

Surely the Government is making a link in its mind between the projected 140,000 loss in manufacturing jobs and the continual influx from outside the EU of workers coming to fill skilled ‘vacancies’?

The Home secretary has announced that the bar is being raised to non-Europeans coming here to work on spec. In future they will require a higher degree qualification.

Given the inability of our border controls to work effectively, I am not holding my breath in this move making much impact on skilled workers coming to search our job market for jobs.

Likewise, on the skilled vacancies front, the Home Secretary has merely referred this issue to the Metcalfe Commission, that body, established in the height of the boom, had the task, rather like the fortune teller at the fairground, of prophesying where skilled vacancies would continue to register in the British economy.

Skilled workers in great numbers are now being laid off, and even at the height of the boom there were real difficulties for some workers in finding work, let alone suitable work.

The Prime Ministers says his intention is ‘British jobs for British workers’. Let us put that on the shelf with all the other absurd prime-ministerial objectives. Let us adopt the more modest of not disadvantaging British workers in the face of competition from their foreign comrades.

If the Government is serious about creating a level playing field, and minimising what is now a growing risk of serious disorder in the summer months as unemployment surges, it will this day restrict access to the British labour market. 
The one simple move it should make is to require employers, who are now in the habit of going abroad to find their workers, first to advertise their vacancies with Jobcentre Plus. Without these vacancies being advertised for a couple of weeks, say, no employer will be given a work permit to import a non-European worker into the British Labour market.

Such action this day would not only hint at a smack of firm Government. It would simply be doing that.

Further, at the same time, doesn’t the Government need to begin EU discussions on limiting the movement of workers until we start to come out of this depression.


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