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Do we need fewer or more immigrants?

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
UKIP argues that mass immigration has made it harder for British citizens to get jobs, but the SNP and Plaid Cymru think Scotland and Wales respectively would benefit from more migrants moving there to work.

How has immigration affected jobs in your area? Do you think it is harder for you to get a job because of immigrants, or do you think your area would benefit from more immigrants moving there to work?

Comments

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Arguably, both: fewer low-skilled and more highly-skilled. Of course, this depends on one's ideology.

    What I do know is this issue has become utterly toxic and a near-taboo, especially in liberal and left-wing circles. It's all but impossible to discuss immigration as you would most other topics; to discuss immigration as anything other than an unqualified success is to feel what it's like to have people start to view you askance as a potential neo-Nazi.

    And - while I'm ranting - anyone appreciative of irony can't help but enjoy the fact that UKIP's prominence can, in large part, be attributed to the groups and people who so vocally oppose it. The lack of anyone espousing a sensible and liberal approach to immigration has left UKIP as one of the few parties unashamedly discussing it - anyone looking for how absurd the situation had got only has to read Labour's leaked document 'Dealing with UKIP' (or whatever the hell is what called) which actively advised avoiding the question of immigration on the doorstep.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    This ^

    We need the right type of immigrants who bring skills we lack or money to invest into the country, albeit with a safety provision to offer asylum to those with a real and genuine fear of persecution.

    The problem is the people who benefit most from immigration are middle class professionals who get all the benefits from the low wage costs immigration brings being passed on in terms of cheaper goods and services, but are also the people who's jobs are least at risk from low paid alternatives (or to put it another way, in my current work area which is filled with skilled civil servants on at least average wage and in most cases double or triple that, there's only 2 or 3 people who aren't British, in my local pub which is staffed by unskilled bar-staff, probably on minimum wage or near it, the only Brit is the manager)

    Ironically UKIP, with their points based system, is probably the most colour blind of any party in that it'd prioritise a skilled Bengali software engineer above a Pole with some joinery skills...
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    We need the right type of immigrants who bring skills we lack or money to invest into the country, albeit with a safety provision to offer asylum to those with a real and genuine fear of persecution.

    :yes: See the policies of Australia and like minded countries.

    What does annoy is when a lay about worker moans about an immigrant who works ten times harder than they do. :banghead:
  • plugitinplugitin Noob Posts: 2,197 The Mix Regular
    I think one of the issues is English people's willingness to work - part of our business is completely reliant on migrant labour and over the past year or so I've had a lot to do with this. Many of the English people we get turning up skive off, won't work overtime or don't have the same attention to detail that migrant labour can offer. Therefore we end up taking on more migrant labour permanently - because they are more reliable.

    For this reason I am pro immigration - we wouldn't be able to operate otherwise. Obviously, I wish it weren't so - but to some extent I think British people should get first dibs - this is at the low-skilled manual labour end of the spectrum.

    Regarding highly skilled jobs - they should get an equal chance. The principles of free movement within the EU are such that I could go anywhere in the EU and take someone's job there (if we believe the rhetoric) - so it's not fair to talk like that here.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    plugitin wrote: »
    I think one of the issues is English people's willingness to work - part of our business is completely reliant on migrant labour and over the past year or so I've had a lot to do with this. Many of the English people we get turning up skive off, won't work overtime or don't have the same attention to detail that migrant labour can offer. Therefore we end up taking on more migrant labour permanently - because they are more reliable.

    For this reason I am pro immigration - we wouldn't be able to operate otherwise. Obviously, I wish it weren't so - but to some extent I think British people should get first dibs - this is at the low-skilled manual labour end of the spectrum.

    Regarding highly skilled jobs - they should get an equal chance. The principles of free movement within the EU are such that I could go anywhere in the EU and take someone's job there (if we believe the rhetoric) - so it's not fair to talk like that here.

    In theory that's true; where I work apart from a very, very small number of high security UK national only jobs, everything is open to all EU members

    In practice, you'd need to be fluent in English to a native level (and can't come over and learn it through doing as you could in a lower or medium skilled job), then there's other barriers such as it taking a long time to go through recruitment so people tend to either be living at home with parents or working in another high-end job and applying for it as a promotion. In addition for many of these jobs such as lawyers you'll need to be accredited in some way and for that you need to have gone through exams.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    How would a government find out which immigrants had the skills we wanted, when education systems are so different?

    If the country is lacking people with certain skills, shouldn't we be trying to use our education system to fix that rather than importing people who can fill in the gaps?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    plugitin wrote: »
    I think one of the issues is English people's willingness to work - part of our business is completely reliant on migrant labour and over the past year or so I've had a lot to do with this. Many of the English people we get turning up skive off, won't work overtime or don't have the same attention to detail that migrant labour can offer. Therefore we end up taking on more migrant labour permanently - because they are more reliable.

    For this reason I am pro immigration - we wouldn't be able to operate otherwise.

    Why do you think English people are so unwilling to work?

    If we couldn't rely so much on immigrants, would this force English people to be more willing to work?

    How effective would it be iff a government said "if our people don't do certain jobs, those jobs will not be done"?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    It's just laziness, imo. The immigrants just end up doing the jobs we don't want to do and then people complain about immigrants coming over here and stealing our jobs.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Melian wrote: »
    It's just laziness, imo. The immigrants just end up doing the jobs we don't want to do and then people complain about immigrants coming over here and stealing our jobs.

    THIS. It drives me insane. If you worked harder than the migrant workers, you'd most likely get jobs they go for. It's not a matter of "all those foreigners stealing our jobs". Work for it because clearly they're setting the bar higher than most people can be bothered with.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Melian wrote: »
    It's just laziness, imo. The immigrants just end up doing the jobs we don't want to do and then people complain about immigrants coming over here and stealing our jobs.

    If only the world were so black and white: the slovenly native and the hard-working immigrant. Hold a mirror up to that notion: the job-stealing immigrant and the virtuous, downtrodden native - you've got the far-right. Your opinion is no less extreme, it's just a lot more in vogue. It's amazing what you can get away with saying if you're being ostensibly liberal.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Do we need fewer or more immigrants?

    I think the problem with ukip is that their candidates are often spouting out such abhorrent statements about immigrants and breastfeeding mothers and the LGBT community etc etc that it's very difficult to see beyond that. I agree that a points based system would be very helpful but, and this is a huge but, we do need to make sure that we are taking in our full quota of refugees and asylum seekers who are running from persecution.

    I am a pretty much paid up Green party supporter and I am not incredibly pro-EU on the grounds of their environmental credentials. I don't feel they go far enough, and I feel that the single currency has caused massive issues for previously prospering countries.

    I think we need more skilled immigrants (nurses/teachers/scientists/doctors in particular) and better paid low skilled jobs which means a living wage which would give a better incentive for Brits to take them as long term jobs - most EU low skilled migrants come here short term and live in what most would consider not great conditions to work hard, save up and then go back home, even if they end up doing it on a repeat basis. I think there are 2 problems which need to be tackled - people no longer have pride in their jobs as they used to (which I think is partly down to lack of job security) and wages not having kept up with rising living costs. If those were tackled I think we would find EU immigration fall naturally.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    WayneS wrote: »
    How would a government find out which immigrants had the skills we wanted, when education systems are so different?

    We can suirely work out whether someone left school at 16 or graduated with an MBA from Harvard; or whether they're coming over for a job where they're going to be employed as specialist IT contractor or a jobbing brickie - it honestly isn't that hard
    If the country is lacking people with certain skills, shouldn't we be trying to use our education system to fix that rather than importing people who can fill in the gaps

    Well, yes - not even the NUT thinks that the improving education is a bad thing. But how? we all want greater productivity, higher paying jobs and ice-cream which is non-fattening, but just saying lets improve education doesn't actually improve education and if there was a magic way to fix it we'd have already done so
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Melian wrote: »
    It's just laziness, imo. The immigrants just end up doing the jobs we don't want to do and then people complain about immigrants coming over here and stealing our jobs.

    That's way too simplistic. It's a misalignment of incentives. If I'm a twenty year old from a poor country I don't mind coming to the Uk, sharing a room and working 12 hours a day on minimum wage, and frankly as a employer I want that person. It doesn't matter to either of us that in six years I've saved enough to head back home fluent in English (adding to my employability) and with enough money to get a mortgage on a decent home.

    If I'm a Brit I don't have the incentives to work those hours day in day out for minimum wage. If there was no immigrants willing to do that job the employer would be forced to raise wages (or cut hours) to a level where its attractive enough for people to come in*

    * though of course there are jobs which we wouldn't bother with if there wasn't someone to fill them on cheap wages, eg bars would have three people working rather than four
  • louisa982louisa982 Thesite.org oldie Posts: 285 The Mix Regular
    I personally don't mind that we have immigrants coming to the uk to work . Especially if there home country is at war or in crisis. I would , however, appreciate if they could all speak english or at least make attempts to learn english. I know its hard learning a new language but when you cant communicate with someone in an English speaking country IN ENGLISH its difficult and can make things awkward. If they are going to apply for a public type job (teacher,police,doctor,nurse,bus driver ect) then i definitely think they should know english and speak it while doing there job. I don't know about anyone else but i feel so awkward in a hospital if 2 foreign speaking nurses are talking to each other in there own language. well that's my opinion anyway :P
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    louisa982 wrote: »
    I personally don't mind that we have immigrants coming to the uk to work . Especially if there home country is at war or in crisis. I would , however, appreciate if they could all speak english or at least make attempts to learn english. I know its hard learning a new language but when you cant communicate with someone in an English speaking country IN ENGLISH its difficult and can make things awkward. If they are going to apply for a public type job (teacher,police,doctor,nurse,bus driver ect) then i definitely think they should know english and speak it while doing there job. I don't know about anyone else but i feel so awkward in a hospital if 2 foreign speaking nurses are talking to each other in there own language. well that's my opinion anyway :P

    Do yu suspect they may be talking about you?

    On the subject of immigrants speaking English, should we refuse entry to people if they can't speak English, or require them to go on courses to learn English once they're here? There are a lot of courses out there that are supposed to help people who don't have English as their first language.
  • louisa982louisa982 Thesite.org oldie Posts: 285 The Mix Regular
    WayneS wrote: »
    Do yu suspect they may be talking about you?

    On the subject of immigrants speaking English, should we refuse entry to people if they can't speak English, or require them to go on courses to learn English once they're here? There are a lot of courses out there that are supposed to help people who don't have English as their first language.

    I know they probably aren't talking about me but it always feels like they have something to hide if they are not speaking English. And I think if they can't speak English that shouldn't be a reason to keep them out but I think yes they should be asked to go on a course to help speak English . After all this course will benefit the people who allready live here and the person taking the course as English is one of the most popular languages.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    WayneS wrote: »
    There are a lot of courses out there that are supposed to help people who don't have English as their first language.

    The majority of which are incredibly expensive; take an immigrant from a war thorn society. There is no way in which can could afford to have a prior qualification in English and I'm assuming fleeing their country will be of more importance.

    I'm divided on immigration. My family immigrated to England, admittedly from a European country. My father could speak excellent English in a business sense and at the time had "functional" English for day to day conversation. On the flip side, I spent a period of time, as a young child, living aboard in said country. I couldn't speak the language so my only choice was to speak in English to family and other people. It probably made people feel awkward, however what was I meant to do? Learning a language isn't an instant thing.

    I don't think that there is a clear answer to the issue of immigration. Yes there is a problem due to the size of the country and population, but this isn't a problem unique to Britain and it also needs to be acknowledged that plenty of people are emigrating out of Britain and not just to EU countries. Do we have a duty of care to less privileged countries?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I certainly do NOT want any more immigrrants in my country, Greece. The island I was born on and which remains close to my heart as do my people are overrun by immigrants our government have allowed in. Another 54 arrived to camp out in Vathi, allowed in by our Hellenic Coastguards. The immigrants already knew where to scarper off to; up the road to Vathi. Kalymnos like so many islands of the Dodecanese has financially struggled and yet our government continue to let immigrants in, though thankfully not the Turks since they are persona non grata.

    It's often heard, NIMBY, Not In My Back Yard, only when it happens to one's own back yard and an immigrant has just stolen all your vegetables, it gets too much to bear. They can all fuck off where they bloody came from as far as I'm concerned.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I think we need fewer immigrants-- only those that are genuinely coming for the right reasons (e.g. to work and actually contribute to the economy or if they are from a wartorn country and not just for benefits). I completely disagree with the idea that immigrants are taking peoples' jobs, however, because most of the people that complain about this aren't willing to do low-paid, unskilled jobs like cleaning or being a waiter. Imo the problem is the education system and peoples' attitude to work, there are so many without education, without the motivation to work and go to universities, simply because there is no reason for them to work as the government will probably help them one way or another. So yes, while there should be fewer immigrants until the UK sorts out its issues, I still think they should be allowed in (maybe just limiting the number that can come in per year from each country??)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Zenosyne wrote: »
    I think we need fewer immigrants-- only those that are genuinely coming for the right reasons (e.g. to work and actually contribute to the economy or if they are from a wartorn country and not just for benefits). I completely disagree with the idea that immigrants are taking peoples' jobs, however, because most of the people that complain about this aren't willing to do low-paid, unskilled jobs like cleaning or being a waiter. Imo the problem is the education system and peoples' attitude to work, there are so many without education, without the motivation to work and go to universities, simply because there is no reason for them to work as the government will probably help them one way or another. So yes, while there should be fewer immigrants until the UK sorts out its issues, I still think they should be allowed in (maybe just limiting the number that can come in per year from each country??)

    Who should set the limit? The reason I ask, is that when immigrants come into the country, they need somewhere to live, as do people who leave their parents or split up from their partners. Currently, the national government is responsibile for immigration policy, but local councils are responsible for housing in their areas. Should councils have the power to set immigration levels based on the amount of available housing in their area?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    WayneS wrote: »

    Who should set the limit? The reason I ask, is that when immigrants come into the country, they need somewhere to live, as do people who leave their parents or split up from their partners. Currently, the national government is responsibile for immigration policy, but local councils are responsible for housing in their areas. Should councils have the power to set immigration levels based on the amount of available housing in their area?

    You make a very good point, and while yes, councils should have some power to set the limit, it should also be based upon whether there are many jobs in the area and what is going on the world (e.g. the responsibility the uk has to take in refugees). The limit could be flexible, and possibly the government could try and spread out the immigrants so they do not just flock to one particular region (which might cause cultural issues too), and thus making the negative effects of immigration felt less while making the positives benefit more areas.
  • One-in-a-millionOne-in-a-million Noob Posts: 517 Incredible Poster
    I think it boils down to why people enter the country and not who. If they are here to work and earn then all the best to them. However if they come and are just here to live off the taxpayers then we don't need them but thwn a part of me thinks there isn't enough jobs for the people who live here already so mixed feelings
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