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Political Rhetoric Doesn’t Create Jobs


Chris Grayling said UK companies should put British nationals “at the top of their priority list” to help reduce the number of jobs going to people from Eastern Europe. This appears to fly in the face of existing discrimination rules that all recruiters have to comply with however stupid we might think they are.

As an international recruitment agency placing people around the globe we get incredulous looks from clients in certain parts of the world when we suggest we can’t advertise for say women only ESL teachers in Saudi Arabia without actually stating that the employment is under Saudi Law not EU law.

There are around 2.67 million unemployed people in the UK, according to official statistics but in our view the true number already exceeds 3 million as we predicted in 2010 and more than 1 million of them aged less than 25.

Even as overall unemployment has risen, the number of foreign nationals with jobs in the UK has risen. Official figures for the last quarter of 2011 show that the number of non-UK nationals in employment was 2.58 million, up 166,000 from a year earlier. The famed Polish worker might not be as good as they used to be and benefit tourism is now a reality but many still want to come and this number is edging up again as the £ has appreciated nearly 15% against the Zloty in the last year.

Mr Grayling said that some British school-leavers and graduates are struggling to be hired because they are competing with older, better qualified rivals from elsewhere in the European Union and this is clearly true where skills shortages are involved. You can’t use a school leavers as an AutoCAD operator or a welder and all the other skills shortages in between and there are many – bench joiners, engineers, CNC operators to name but a few. However, even if the jobs are low grade, finding Brits to do the jobs is hard.

The only answer is the introduction of Ian Duncan Smith’s ideas to create incentives to work. At present youngsters can sit on some form of dole support and the extra they’d earn by working is pitiful even if they can be bothered to apply and stick to the work.

As someone who operated manufacturing plants for many years I can tell you that the will to work is just not there amongst many Brit,s young and old so going the Polish worker route still appeals despite the fact that you now get more rotten apples per barrel of Polish workers today than you did a few years ago.

British employers cite employment law as the biggest impediment to employment and what has happened? More rather than less red tape has been added. Complexity has been added and choice reduced in terms of employment with the costs rising hardly conducive to tackling unemployment.

It needs to be remembered that British employers in this recession didn’t go all out on deep cuts through redundancy but managed the situation through reduced hours, freezes to pay etc. and there is still a lot of slack in the system as growth has been constrained. Couple this with the need to manage defensively as the banking sector has been so unreliable and unsupported is it any wonder that British industry is sitting on cash rather than investing in talent for the future.

Political rhetoric will not turn this round it is a combination of the wrong educational standards turning out people industry does not want and ineffective action by the government to force the banks to lend plus above all burdening industry with increased bureaucracy.

Mr Cameron and Mr Osborne why have IDS’s ideas not been implemented?

Author :Chris Slay