Foreign Nationals – Why we have to be wary of the “Send them all back brigade”
Whenever there is an economic crisis and recession there are always cries usually from the far right to “send all immigrants back to where they came from” without any regard of the economic or social impact of such a short-sighted and draconian approach.
I have previously said that the 12,000 foreign nationals who are imprisoned costing the taxpayer £150 million a year should automatically be extradited as soon as they finish their sentence and if it can be arranged they should be sent home to complete their sentence in their home country.
I stand by that view and opinion, but the cry for a general all-encompassing “get rid of them policy” is of course a nonsense.
It is nonsense because the argument doesn’t stack up but if the Government are determined to reduce immigration then they will have to take responsibly for the cause of the rising numbers wanting to live and work here and change their economic policies to make it happen.
Let’s look at the argument “foreigners are taking our jobs”,
No they aren’t.
What really happened is that during the boom years successive Governments of all types including the current coalition have failed to invest in the people and more importantly the level of education provided in schools.
Successive Governments have failed to provide the training or incentives for industry to provide the training after leaving school for our young people to be able to compete in the ‘job market’.
As a result we have seen an increase in foreign workers who are prepared to leave their own country and take the opportunities available to them in the UK.
Locally we have recently seen Northampton General Hospital recruit 40 nurses from Portugal, Spain and Italy and only 50 miles away Cambridge hospitals recruited 25 nurses from Spain.
Would those advocating send them all home include the nurses and doctors who work in the NHS?
Of course they wouldn’t, nurse and doctors are considered to be essential key workers.
Which is right, as are the plumbers, bricklayers, plasterers and carpenters who came to work in the construction industry which at its highpoint needed qualified and hardworking builders and specialists at a time when there was a shortage in Britain.
Has this signalled a positive response from the Government looking to the future and planning to train the nurses, tradesmen and women to meet the needs of a growing population as and when the country eventually comes out of recession?
Not a bit of it, all that is on offer it seems is six months funding to a maximum of £2,500 a person which effectively will reduce the staggering level of young unemployed people from over a million to just over 700,000.
The long-term solution isn’t a short-term fix of the unemployment figures; it needs a real commitment which the Government are significantly failing to provide.
A fully qualified nurse takes between 3 and 5 years to train, a fully qualified and capable craft trade takes 4 years to achieve the standards required by industry.
So here is a suggestion, set up in existing technical colleges (an old-fashioned name but it worked for me during my apprenticeship) and training workshops in the new Enterprise Zones to deliver apprenticeships that are based on the principles of the long gone indentured apprenticeships that delivered some of the best tradesmen in the world.
Yes it will cost money with 250,000 young people based on a budget of £10,000 would cost £2,500,000,000 a year but the rewards at the end of 3 years will be a highly qualified number of tradespeople able to contribute to the regeneration of the economy for the next 40 years.
The same principle should be taken towards the recruitment and training of nurses.
In the increasingly difficult economic situation faced by everyone we constantly hear from Government and Local Councillors that we should always be looking for “best value” and “value for money”, I’d suggest a £30,000 investment for 40 years work is a good investment.
Which brings me full circle to foreign national workers and the reality to be faced that if we want the economy to not only recover but to thrive then those who cry for an “all out” policy should be asked one simple question,
“Who will do the jobs the foreign nationals are doing”?