British workers lack right skills, right attitude for jobs on offer 4th July, 2011: Responding to Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith’s assertion against hiring immigrants, the employers have hit back saying too often British workers lacked the right skills and the right attitude for the jobs on offer.
Lawyers asserted favouring British nationals over foreigners entitled to work in the UK, could also lead to claims for racial discrimination.
The criticism came after Smith used a keynote speech in Madrid to appeal to firms to give chance to British youngsters than employing the immigrants.
Smith had stated that: “If we do not get this right then we risk leaving more British citizens out of work, and the most vulnerable group who will be the most affected are young people.”
Smith’s argument was that the huge influx of migrants under Labour led to a growth in cheap labour that undercut British-born workers. As a result, the number of UK-born people living on welfare handouts increased.
The director general of the British Chambers of Commerce, David Frost said employers were taking on foreign workers because they were better qualified and had a stronger work ethic than young British applicants.
Frost added: “They [employers] expect young people to come forward to them who are able to read, write and communicate and have a good work ethic and too often that’s not the case and there’s a stream of able East European migrants who are able to fill those jobs,’’ he said.
”These migrants are skilled, they have a very strong work ethic, and they simply get on with the job. They’ve been hugely beneficial for the UK.”
Frost even went up to the extent of, blaming the education system, for the level of unemployment facing young people. “After 11 years of formal education, employers say they get kids coming to them who can’t read, who can’t write, who can’t communicate.”
Neil Carberry, of the CBI, said firms wanted to give young people a chance, but they had to pick the right applicant.
He said tackling unemployment was a challenge for everyone, and businesses want to give young British people a chance.
Carberry further asserted that the employers should choose the best person for the job. The challenge was to make sure that more young Britons were in a position to be the best candidate.
"The government’s focus should be on boosting private sector growth," said Carberry. The head of employment law at the law firm DBS, Paul Griffin said that any favouring of British workers above those from the EU, or anywhere else if they had the right to work here, could make an employer liable for a claim for direct race discrimination.