The New Immigration Policy

Posted on February 20, 2020

The government have administered a populist masterstroke with the post Brexit immigration policy. They have focused most people (particularly Brexiteers) on the minimum 26k salary to avoid immigration of unskilled labour.

However, they have done this whilst distracting people from a potential race to the bottom in the skilled sector. For all those who think EU immigration was too high, it is music to their ears; at least the ones who do not face the potential of being forced into low paid jobs.

Headline Figure

The headline figures have revolved around the 8.4 million economically inactive (a bullshit figure if there ever was one) and the statement that we only want skilled people coming to the UK, not the unskilled.

What does that tell you about our education and training system? Or a government trying to fill all the unskilled jobs with UK citizens whilst importing the skilled ones from anywhere in the world? It could be regarded as a blatant assault on the citizens of the UK who want to be skilled and earn well.

The truth behind the headline may well be that the government doesn’t see the point in investing in training when it can bring people into the country pre trained. Big business may well feel the same. Why pay 300k to train a doctor when you can get one from India for free? Why invest in graduate schemes for structural engineers or lawyers, when pre trained professionals will come to the UK for less than the going rate?

The Unskilled Market

At the lower end of the economic scale, it is intriguing to know where the labour is coming from to fill jobs in care homes, agricultural, retail and food & leisure industries. Out of the 8.4 million ‘economically inactive’, one million have retired early, presumably because they are quite wealthy. Ask them to work in Costa Coffee and stand well back.

Over two million are long term sick or disabled, so they will need dragging out of their beds. Another two million are family carers or housewives/husbands. The only people the government will be able to force to work, are those who cannot survive without benefits.

I’m all for getting genuine dossers out of the door and into work, but there just isn’t that many of them. They are mostly useless anyway. That’s why businesses employ EU workers ahead of them.  Imagine being so useless that a person from a foreign country, learning a new language, is more capable than you?

What Will Happen?

So, where does that leave us? Does it really mean that because kids can’t afford university fees and companies don’t want to pay to train them, they will soon be doing the unskilled jobs vacated by freedom of movement EU workers? Does getting our country back, mean emptying the bins for an Asian engineer who has come here pre-trained on a lower salary?

Where will the incentive be to rack up 30k of student debt? There isn’t one if the salary graduates should be able to command, is undercut by skilled immigrants? Where is the incentive for a British business to pay for graduate trainees when they can get them for nothing? Unless this ideology is tinkered with once it is off the front pages, that is what this wonderful immigration policy will be creating.

A strong country is surely one where the indigenous population is highly skilled and invested in by a strong government serving the people and attracting business to our shores. It appears that this government is one that says, ‘We won’t pay for training or education. Pay for it yourself, and don’t blame us for getting in someone cheaper’.

Someone said to me earlier today, that if this is a blatant government strategy (not just a hopeless cock up that will be corrected when it is old news) more than 50% of the country will repel it when it all starts unfolding. People will vote with their feet.

I had to politely remind him that with an opposition that is cornered and not sure which way to go with its rudder, anything over 35% of the electorate will do this government nicely. It will be easily enough to hold on to power.

If that this immigration ideology is the limit of our ambition, maybe the state education system should now include fruit picking, bed making and learning to survive on the minimum wage? It is utterly shameful that we have a government prepared to dumb down its own citizens in a bid to fill an unskilled labour market.

A void in the market it created itself.

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