Wednesday 12 September 2018

Making a point

When the good news about unemployment falling and wages outstripping the cost of living broke yesterday I wondered how BBC One's News at Ten would report it and whether they'd use it to make an anti-Brexit point. Well, even I was surprised at how quickly that anti-Brexit point came last night:
Huw Edwards: Wages grew faster than expected in the three months to July, as they continue to outstrip the cost of living for the fourth month in succession. Official data shows that pay, excluding bonuses, rose by 2.9% during the period, while unemployment has continued to fall, remaining at its lowest level for over 40 years, Our economics correspondent, Andy Verity, reports. 
Andy Verity: The firm that runs this construction site in Salford has no shortage of work. But a shortage of skilled workers is a growing problem. Until this year, its subcontractors could find the staff they needed easily, mostly from the rest of the European Union. 
Ged Rooney, Bardsley Construction: We've got Albanians working on here now but the dry liners, joiners, tilers tend to be Eastern European. So, in some instances, when they leave, it gets very, very difficult to entice the British workforce back on to the sites. 
Is that a record?


  1. How are Albanians getting in? They are not part of the EU...Perhaps Andy Verity was unaware of that fact, being a BBC journo.

    When we take back control of our country, there's no reason why we shouldn't invite people over to work in our construction industry if there is a shortage, BUT that should be on short term contracts with no access to our welfare services and with no right to apply for naturalisation as a UK citizen.

    1. They have visa-free travel into the EU. That's preparatory to joining.

    2. Travel's one thing. Work is another.

      "18 - 45 year olds from Albania are able to apply for a Work Visa to the UK. Successful applicants can migrate and work in the UK permanently or temporarily."

      So if they are working here, they must be working on a visa or working illegally. Either way you know the Government's promise to pursue a reduction of net migration down to less than 100,000 is completely hollow. They are under no obligation to provide a single Albanian with a work visa, still less one working in construction.

    3. Your question was How are Albanians getting in? That's how. They are turning up in the UK, some of them involved in operating criminal gangs, dealing in drugs and other crimes. What proportion that is, I don't know but it is alarming when any immigrants turn out to be criminal gangs.
      It was the same story with Bulgarians and Romanians getting in: before the official date for the ending of restrictions they were here all over the UK. There were employers and employment agencies recruiting them directly. And there were loopholes. It's easy to get here and easy to work here without a permit in care homes, hospitality industry... in all sorts of places. That's one reason immigrants prefer the UK to France or Germany. We are free and easy here, less formal.

    4. Fair enough. There were plenty of Albanians - including in criminal gangs - here even before they got visa free travel. Many posed as Kosovan asylum seekers I believe. I take your point about it being easier for a migrant start up here compared with Germany, but let's not forget Germany took in one million plus migrants in a year. Pretty much wherever you look there is an issue - Spain, Italy, Sweden, Belgium, France.


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