JOB SEARCH / AUG. 14, 2014
version 3, draft 3

Are Migrants Really Stealing UK Jobs?

Despite the UK unemployment rate falling by 132,000 over the past 3 months, this positive outlook has been overshadowed by recent claims that migrants take four jobs for every one job that is given to a British person.

Reports by the Bank of England suggest that it is the stagnant pay at the lower end of the scale that has forced competition for jobs to increase by eager eastern European migrants seeking employment. With the figures for Bulgarian and Romanian workers in the UK increasing by 13,000, it is clear that there is a huge disproportion in terms of British versus eastern European workers gaining employment in the UK.

Figures based on the Labour Force Survey reveal that “foreign-born workers took more than four new jobs for every one taken by a British-born worker” between April and June this year. Reports also reveal that the employment figures for British born workers has increased by 137,000 while foreign born applicants gaining employment has risen by a disproportionate 345,000 (ONS).

Tory MP, Philip Davies claims “We are crazy to allow people to come from the EU to do jobs that unemployed people in this country could do”.

Many believe MP Philip Davies is missing the point. It is not that employers are ‘favouring’ foreign staff over local workers; it is down to the fact that foreign workers are considered to be harder workers and ‘grateful’ of gaining employment, any employment for that matter. Celebrity Chef Jamie Oliver previously came under fire for stating that he believe British youngsters were not as strong or tough as European workers and that his restaurants would close without them.

Retail giant Next also claimed it was effectively forced to hire Polish workers due to non interest from British born applicants.

As a nation we have cultivated a generation of ‘job entitlement’. There are many Britons out of work, but this is not for lack of opportunities right on their doorstep. Too many unemployed British people, those with further education and those without, feel they are entitled to good jobs, favourable hours, high wages etc. This is the wrong mentality to have. The number of out-of-work graduates is huge; the Guardian reported nearly 40% of graduates to be still job searching six months after graduating university. Could this be down to the fact that many graduates do not want to take up employment that is considered below their academic abilities? This conversation of entitlement is strong and very evident in the UK, particularly among UK graduates. And why not? Why shouldn’t graduates hold out for a position worthy of their hard earned degree?

The fact is, the British economy needs workers, and if British people are not willing to get their hands dirty and take up employment on minimum wage for the simple fact of ‘being employed until something better comes along’, then we cannot cry outrage at foreign born workers ‘taking’ the jobs off British people.

Provided eastern European workers are in the UK to work and pay their way, there is no argument against their right to make a better life for themselves. What’s more, The Centre for Entrepreneurs DueDil found that approximately 500,000 migrant entrepreneurs have established one in seven companies in the UK, which in turn, provides many jobs for local unemployed people. The report also found that 17.2% of migrants have set up their own businesses in the UK, compared with 10.4% of British born entrepreneurs.

It is not just immigration that needs addressing in the UK, it is the work ethic of those who refuse to take up employment

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