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Iain Duncan Smith apparently thinks jobs should be offered to British people before migrants

(85 Posts)
electra Fri 01-Jul-11 11:34:41

Surely he might as well adopt the BNP slogan?

Portofino Fri 01-Jul-11 11:37:38

I think it is a fair point. There is a lot of unemployment. Surely British nationals should get first go, before going outside the country. I say that an immigrant in another country.

Portofino Fri 01-Jul-11 11:38:25

Though I think there should be full flexibility within the EU.

Solidarity Fri 01-Jul-11 11:40:37

And he's right.

Why should British people be overlooked?

Tillyscoutsmum Fri 01-Jul-11 11:41:07

My initial thoughts on hearing the headline were similar to yours OP. But then, I heard that 80% of jobs created during Labour's time in power went to migrants. That's an incredibly high percentage.

MollysChamber Fri 01-Jul-11 11:43:06

I think if he meant rather than hiring someone living overseas then he has a point. If he's talking about people already resident in the UK then, yes, it's a bit BNP.

PastyKensit Fri 01-Jul-11 11:44:40

It's not BNP at all - it makes perfect sense.

pjani Fri 01-Jul-11 11:45:58

I do think it's a bit offensive (am a dirty foreigner) because I'm here legally. I went through a rigorous and expensive process to get a work visa (and am also eligible for a partner visa because I live with my British partner).

If I am the best for the job I don't think I should be discriminated against.

feckwit Fri 01-Jul-11 11:46:42

Gah I don't know what I think? I do feel though, that if one is in favour of jobs going to Brits first (really surely they should go to the best candidate?), then you have to leave the EU - it would be unfair for us to reap the benefits of freely moving around Europe when we were not reciprocating.
Or do other European countries have these regulations?

But anyway, I'd be interested in knowing what percentage of new jobs in other countries went to Brits - ie are we benefitting elsewhere? And whether the jobs that went to migrant workers in Britain, did so as they were perhaps more economical - would work for less...

Only then could I decide I think.

Tillyscoutsmum Fri 01-Jul-11 11:47:17

Why such a high percentage to migrants though ? Are they not within the remit of employment law (i.e. can employers pay them less than minimum wage ?) or are they just keener to get jobs and often have a reputation for being hard workers ?

electra Fri 01-Jul-11 11:48:37

When I was a child the Asian communities in our town had to put up with racist treatment and hostility together with people moaning that they were 'taking our jobs'. Now people seemed to have turned their hostility on migrants who come from places like Poland.

If people are able to live here under EU law etc, should they not have the same opportunities wrt getting a job as British people? If a British person doesn't get the job because they are less suitably qualified then surely that's just how it is?

minipie Fri 01-Jul-11 11:50:27

No, this is not a good policy.

If employers are choosing to hire migrants rather than Brits, we need to look at why that is.

Is it because our education system is crap? Then we need to fix the education system.

Is it because the UK benefits system/low mininum wage doesn't encourage British people to work? Then change that.

This idea is just papering over the cracks.

(It's a bit like the idea of saying that universities should make lower offers to candidates from poorly performing state schools - no, the solution is to improve the schools so the pupils can compete properly, not to lower the standard the pupils need to reach.)

Callisto Fri 01-Jul-11 12:54:02

In every other country in the world the policy is that jobs must first be offered to citizens of that country before they are offered to migrants. In fact, most countries expect the migrant to have a job before they are granted a work visa.

Calling this idea BNP is pathetic and disingenuous and a typical knee-jerk reaction to anything that might just discriminate against anyone who is not born in the UK.

Callisto Fri 01-Jul-11 12:56:48

TillyScotsmum - in my DH's experience of hiring and firing, the average Brit school leaver is incapable of holding down a job due to a complete lack of work ethic, a huge sense of entitlement and a lack of basic English and maths skills.

AnyF Fri 01-Jul-11 12:58:51

It depends why more migrants are being offered jobs though, doesn't it ?

is it because employers can pay them less ?

This is certainly true in the building trade

tbh, though, if someone is a national of this country and they are qualified for the job, they have as much right as anyone else to have it

the job should be filled by the best person for it, IMO, irrespective of who they are

minipie Fri 01-Jul-11 13:05:51

But why can employers pay migrants less?

Is it because migrants are willing to work for less?

If so, then why is that? Why won't British applicants work for the same wages?

strandednomore Fri 01-Jul-11 13:06:17

I think there are two things going on here. On the one hand, a lot of employers are getting away with paying low wages because migrants are often prepared to work for a lot less than British workers. Whether this is because of our benefits system (eg why work when you can earn as much not working?) or because migrants are often prepared to live off a lot less because it's often only temporary until they can return home, I don't know.

On the other hand, there are a lot of highly-skilled jobs that can only be filled by migrants because we're not producing enough skilled people for the jobs that are available.

So the answer has to be something around tackling benefits, getting people to look at taking jobs that they might not want to consider and starting to train more people in the right thing (eg less media studies, more engineering).

At least that's my totally lay-person's point of view.

Oh and I don't think IDS is being "BNP" about this but that might be how it is lazily interpreted in certain sectors of the press.

mollymole Fri 01-Jul-11 13:15:01

not too long ago my sons then girlfriend wrote to the local large tesco asking about job vacancies and was told that all vacancies were advertised i the local store, so she asked a friend who worked at the store to keep an eye out for her
move on a few months - no vacancies advertised in store over the period,
girl rings store and asks about vacancies to be told there are none and when there are they are ALWAYS advertised in store
then 3 days later when shopping in store a small group of new employees are being inducted, along with an interpreter to relay the instructions to them in their own language
what the hell is this all about then ????

Icoulddoitbetter Fri 01-Jul-11 13:18:36

I think this is a typical IDS comment that he knows many people wanty to hear but in reality it is far more complicated.
We're in the EU, so EU nationals have as much right to employment here as British nationals, just as we have in other EU countries. How does he expect to get around this?
Migrant workers are willing to work for less (though surely this can't be less that min wage?) so will take jobs that british applicant's may turn their nose up at. So, min wage needs tackling (and his universal benefit is probably not the best way)
Often migrant workers take jobs that British nationals simply don't want to do, or can't do because of lack of skills. So how is IDS going to persuade people to take work cleaning hospital toilets, for example?

It's not necessarily BNP, but he is certainly on the right wing of the party and knows that this type of comment will appeal to the unfortunate amount of people who really believe that all this country's problems are due to the amount of immigrants we have (along with public sector pensions of course!).

NotJustKangaskhan Fri 01-Jul-11 13:31:23

Callisto - that is the law in this country as well except we have the EU which means free movement and work. All EU countries will have to deal with this. As the law currently stands, an employer has to prove they cannot get a suitable candidate in the UK and the EU prior to pulling someone in on a work visa.

CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 01-Jul-11 14:24:26

I think it's a valid point. Coalition policies will soon mean that there is a lot more pressure on the unemployed to take any jobs available, unlike past policies. Some companies have got into a routine now of when they need seasonal staff, they contact an agency who brings people over from places like East Europe rather than try to recruit locally. If the appeal means they have another crack at finding locals for the jobs, great. But if the locals aren't up to the mark, of course the employers should look elsewhere.

ragged Fri 01-Jul-11 14:34:49

Yet more foreigner bashing.

As someone who has been thru the work permit process I think what IDS said is a joke; it's jolly difficult (not to mention Expensive) to hire anybody from outside the EU; any qualified Brit has to be given preferential treatment already. To get my work permit my employers had to advertise nationally and then argue that I wasn't just the best candidate, but the only qualified candidate.

If he means Commonwealth citizens (Bangladeshis, Nigerians, etc.) then it's probably against the spirit of what the Commonwealth is supposed to be about, although I admit I'm not sure how strict the immigration controls are for them.

If he's saying "hire British over French/Polish/Italian/etc." then IDS is probably breaking EU rules. Or at least, he should equally endorse the German right to hire Germans over Brits, and the Spanish right to hire Spaniards over Brits, etc. For the matter, why not suggest that "British" firms and Brit-made products should be favoured over Italian/Dutch or Irish companies, too? I mean, that kind of nationalism would really help the UK export market. hmm

I dare say that people who really understand business (like the CBI) will not endorse IDS's view.

cookcleanerchaufferetc Fri 01-Jul-11 14:38:02

Too bloody right ..... no problem with that at all.

alemci Fri 01-Jul-11 14:41:33

good for him. Why can't immigration be stemmed. It is not fair on the people already here who want a future. Lots of graduates are finding it hard to find jobs so lets put them first for a change.

NL made a right mess of things in the first place IMO.

hiddenhome Fri 01-Jul-11 14:47:31

All the school leavers that we have had working at our place have been useless sad

They don't turn up
They turn up hungover and have to be sent home
They phone in sick all the time
They turn up for work full of their latest boyfriend dramas
They're lazy
They're immature
They're illiterate
They're unmotivated

I could go on hmm

The recruitment guy on the BBC News earlier on pointed out that immigrant workers do actually work hard, whereas our folk just aren't up to the job.

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