By: 永久浪客/Forever Vagabond
In her first major speech as UK’s new home secretary on Tuesday (4 Oct), Ms Amber Rudd said that UK businesses are hiring too many foreigners (‘UK businesses hiring too many foreigners, says Rudd‘). She proposes curbs to limit immigration to only the ‘brightest and best’ for Britain. The Home Secretary in UK is responsible for the internal affairs as well as immigration and citizenship for UK.
She said that tougher curbs on hiring foreigners were needed to ensure they are not taking away jobs from Britons. She questioned whether the immigration system provided the “right incentives” for businesses to invest in their own British workers. She said she would look at tightening the test that companies take before recruiting foreigners.
Speaking at the Conservative party conference, Ms Rudd said, “The [visa] test should ensure people coming here are filling gaps in the labour market, not taking jobs British people could do.”
“But it has become a tick-box exercise, allowing some firms to get away with not training local people. We won’t win in the world if we don’t do more to upskill our own workforce,” she added.
Name and shame companies failing to employ British workers
She revealed that companies could also be forced to publish the proportion of “international” staff on their books in a move which would effectively “name and shame” businesses which are failing to take on British workers (‘Amber Rudd vows to stop migrants “taking jobs British people could do” and force companies to reveal number of foreigners they employ‘).
She wants to force firms to prove they have done all they can to find UK workers in order to fill a vacancy.
Presently, net migration to UK is more than three times higher than the UK government’s target. She was careful to note that immigration has enhanced Britain’s economy. “I believe immigration has brought many benefits to the nation. It has enhanced our economy, our society and our culture,” she said. “This is why I want to reduce net migration while continuing to ensure we attract the brightest and the best.”
“Because it’s only by reducing the numbers back down to sustainable levels that we can change the tide of public opinion.”
UK to train more local doctors and not rely on foreign ones
Separately, UK’s health secretary, Jeremy Hunt, vowed that UK’s health system (NHS) will be “self-sufficient” within 10 years and not have to rely on foreign doctors.
Also speaking at the Conservative party conference, Mr Hunt announced plans to train up to 1,500 more doctors a year in England.
He will end the 6,000-a-year cap on medical school students, allowing numbers to grow by as much as a quarter in 2018 and ensuring all young Britons with the capability to be trained as a doctor, have the chance to do so.
Foreigners in London ‘horrified’
After the announcement by the new UK Govt to clamp down on immigration, understandably, foreigners in UK are worried and ‘horrified’. Bloomberg interviewed some of the foreigners working in London for their views (‘Foreigners in London “Horrified” by May’s Immigration Vision‘).
Victor Villar, a 31-year-old Mexican, who has been working as a portfolio analytic consultant in London for 2.5 years told Bloomberg, “If things get worse because they approve some anti-immigrant policies in parliament, I would definitely consider a job in the U.S. or somewhere else.”
He criticised the new UK Govt’s plan “like shooting yourself in your own foot because many people who come to work here are skilled workers with graduate degrees.”
However, it’s not known if he can easily get jobs in the U.S. or somewhere else, since all over the world, many first world countries are also tightening their immigration as they face waves of third world immigrants into their countries competing for jobs with the locals.
Economic hardship has turned voters in these countries against beliefs that open border and free trade policies would narrow income inequality and bring about greater well-being. In fact, with more locals out of job, the locals perceive that income inequality has risen and that their well-being is affected.
Indeed, a YouGov poll in UK on Wed (5 Oct) of 5,875 adults found that 59 percent of people support policies to restrict immigration, showing that the new UK Govt is in tune with voters.
The new UK Govt under now Ms Theresa May came about after the previous UK PM David Cameron resigned over the Brexit referendum. The new PM has interpreted the UK’s referendum outcome as an anti-immigration message that gives her a mandate to bring in stringent measures to cut down on the immigration numbers coming into the country.
She aims to cut net annual immigration to below 100,000 from more than 300,000 currently.