Give migrants their fair share
20th October 2010: The statistics released by the Office for National Statistics not only reveal the contribution made by the foreign workers to the economy, but also clearly show the most Britons are themselves to be blamed for their unemployed status.
The statistics show 2.401million non-UK nationals have been active in the economy between April and June. The number is up by 147,000 on the previous three months. Over all, the number of foreign workers has surged to record 2.4m upon their return to Britain.
On the other hand, the new figures show there were 26.530million Britons in jobs, approximately 650,000 down from the peak in summer 2008.
The statistics, drawn from the Labour Force Survey, clearly indicate that the jobs are widely available; and the Eastern Europeans are merely taking jobs that local workers are unwilling to do.
One of the possible reasons for this is that unemployed Britons consider some of the jobs as too low paid or too demanding.
The government, by intensifying its efforts to convince the Britons that jobs are preferable to a life of benefits dependency, indirectly acknowledges the fact that work is available. It’s not the lack of job opportunities, but only unwilling locals that are a cause of concern.
The statistics take the weight out of the government’s arguments in favour of a cap on the number of immigrants. The government has all along been saying lack of British jobs for Britons is one of the prime reasons behind the move to impose a cap. It is now clear the root of the problem is not foreign workers, but the attitude of the local workers
Apparently, the need of the hour is not a temporary or a permanent cap on immigration, but generation of an opinion that no work is menial, it’s just the attitude that matters.