Immigration to the UK, let’s have more

With more immigration, capitalism and free trade are the winners

by David Atherton on 20 May 2013 15:22

An Australian friend of mine tells me that in the land of the sun the workers who have the best reputation for being punctual and hardworking are, staggeringly, the British. When the Australian and New Zealand dollar was four to the pound, the Antipodeans came over here in the 1980s and 1990s, either on working holiday visas or British ancestry passports, and had the best reputation for being…punctual and hard working.

My day job is in the IT recruitment business. Companies are looking to hire anything from a programmer, analyst, or project manager through to a network support technician, either on a temporary or a permanent basis.

My current placements and active candidates are Czech, Spanish, Brazilian, French, Trinidadian, and Indian with the odd token Brit. If it was not for the free movement in the EU and relative ease of getting work permits it is quite possible the UK and the EU would have a serious skills shortage. Our GDP would be even worse than it is with a real slump.

I am one who is less worried about Romanians and Bulgarians entering the British jobs market and many of you may not be aware that if they are self-employed, or work through a limited liability company, they can work here already.

From my 25 years in recruitment, I have learned that immigrants, generally, tend to be the most conscientious and industrious people. It may be that people want to prove to themselves and their families back home that they can “make it”; for many it is a vital means of raising funds to send to their families back home.

It is estimated that there are over 500,000 Eastern Europeans working in the UK, 60 percent Polish. The numbers are declining as wages in Poland over the last five years have doubled and the Zloty has strengthened to 66 percent of its value in 2004. I think capitalism and free trade are the winners here.

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