The Movement of Employment Mystery

Posted on December 6, 2023

I spent some time reading about work visa applications last night. I’m afraid you are going to have to look it up yourself as it is ridiculously confusing. It looks like it has been hashed together at the breakfast table of a year one business studies student forced into going to university by status obsessed parents. “Did I tell you Connor is at Oxford (Brooks). That boy is soooo clever”.

The Skills Reversal Scheme

Connor should seize his opportunity. Wittingly, or unwittingly, he may well be part of the last generation who doesn’t need to come from Eton or lottery winners to get a place at university. All the signals point to the skilled jobs going to foreign labour who have been trained and educated overseas whilst the UK’s poor, elderly, disabled and unskilled, are dragged kicking and screaming into factories and warehouses. It’s a deeply flawed idea that won’t work but the government aren’t worried about that sort of thing.

It’s reasonably simple to understand the government’s philosophy, even if it is a crackpot idea. Why pay to train surgeons, engineers and scientists when you can nick them from elsewhere? In comparison, it doesn’t cost much to train semi-skilled or unskilled workers. So, what they can do is starve UK workers of education and they can do the shit jobs. The children of Sunak, Cameron, Hunt, Cleverly and the rest, need not worry. Their privileged lives are already mapped out.

The Visa Effect & Care Industry

Leaving the EU has affected my industry quite badly. When we were in the freedom of movement system, backfilling jobs with EU workers was always a viable option. In busy periods it was easy to increase labour and decrease it when markets tightened. Most of our workers would come and go back to Europe courtesy of freedom of movement and cheap travel. That option has gone. They now have to find visa sponsors and an offer of PAYE employment over £38k. It cost’s the employer around £1500. I can’t do that. I don’t know how much work I have next month, let alone next year. The result is people aren’t coming.

However, my problems are my problems, they are small compared to the bigger picture. Apart from those who are absolutely loaded, the care industry is everyone’s problem. Unless you have an accident, a heart attack or an aneurysm, there is every chance the person stroking your forehead as you drift off to meet your maker, will be a care worker. A bleeding foreign care worker, mind! Getting hit by a bus has never been such a decent option, at least compared to lying in a cash starved hospital with no staff. With a 160,000 shortfall in the care sector, I am at a loss to who will do that work when £38k is a minimum salary for a foreigner to enter.

Number Crunching

There are worker shortages across industry. From farming, to leisure, to care, to construction, there is a shortfall. If there was excess indigenous labour to soak up these roles, curtailing immigration would be perfectly understandable. However, this is not the case. People in the UK who are of working age and unemployed aren’t in that position because foreigners are taking their jobs. They are generally made up of people who may have retired early, have a high earning partner, are physically or mentally disabled, or incapable of holding down a job. I’ll tell you for free that these people aren’t filling the excess vacancies now the foreigners are being sent packing. Big Frank down at the Red Lion isn’t going clean a pensioners bottom, pick fruit, or work on a building site, nor is a 50 year-old whose wife/husband is earning £100k as solicitor.

Every bit of immigration policy is flawed. Are the people putting these policies together really that stupid? I don’t know the answer to that but I have a good idea. It looks to me like its a load of populist nonsense that will keep the nutter vote happy. If the economy crashes, so be it. God knows who the populist peddlers will go after when there are no foreigners left to attack? The disabled and the work shy, perhaps? Big Frank might start regretting what he wished for. The only way the numbers can work is by shrinking the economy so the jobs no longer exist. Perhaps that is why Matt Hancock tried to wipe out care homes during Covid. No pensioners = less care homes = less jobs = less pensions to pay. “Job’s a goodun”, as they say.

Populist Madness

I’m prepared to be proved wrong but I can’t see one area of immigration policy that isn’t insane. Whether it’s flights to Rwanda, little boats, work visa criteria, or returns policies, it’s all bonkers. There is no structure, no sensible processing, nowhere to return any criminals and no way of defining individual cases. We can’t even work within the rules of the Dublin Regulation because we are no longer in the EU. This means no country in the EU is obligated to take back anyone undesirable has come via them. It’s a total mess of the governments making.

Stopping people coming to the UK when there is a shocking labour shortage, is nothing short madness. Immigration has been the heartbeat of the UK economy for as long as anyone alive can remember. Whether its rebuilding after wars, nursing the sick, harvesting the land, or serving people in the leisure industry, immigrants have always kept the show on the road.

It’s the only way a modern economy can grow and prosper.

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