Azara Blog: Another vacuous report by a committee of MPs

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Date published: 2007/10/18

The BBC says:

Britain should not rely on migrant workers to fill gaps in its own labour markets, a committee of MPs has warned.

The influx of eastern European workers is likely to slow or reverse, as other EU states ease restrictions or as wages improve in their countries, MPs said.

The trade and industry committee urged ministers and businesses to ensure a "labour vacuum" was not left behind.

Between May 2004 and June 2007 683,000 people from eight of the EU accession countries registered to work in the UK.

Workers from the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia had helped plug gaps in the British labour force, the committee said.

But it said many of those who came seeking work were the "best and brightest" and were overqualified for the jobs they took.

In agriculture there were already signs of labour shortages in agriculture, which had relied heavily on eastern European workers - as they moved on to more skilled jobs.

If this is the best this committee of MPs can contribute, they might as well disband. Exactly how is the government or business supposed to "ensure a labour vacuum [is] not left behind"? These are hard, low-paid, low-skill jobs which hardly any British person wants to take. Do the MPs want the government to run ads on television saying that in fact these jobs are sexy and just the ticket for ambitious young people? The only thing business can do if the foreigners leave is to pay more (and they will have to), but then more food (for example) will be imported because it will be cheaper, so some British firms might go bust.

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