Why Immigrants Can Find Work Here And Enjoy It When Britons Can’t And Don’t.

How is it that immigrants can come here from abroad and walk into jobs?

Because certain jobs aren’t even advertised in the UK, the employers only advertise them abroad.

Why are immigrants happy to do jobs Britons turn their noses up at?

Because of the exchange rate. Immigrants can come here to work for a few months, live six to a room and frugally in general, work all the hours they can and save all they can. Then they can go back to their homelands, change their pounds for the local currency and be quids in, many and substantial amounts of quids in. How so? Because the pound’s worth a lot more over there than it is over here. When they change their pounds for zlotys ( or whichever) the local currencies have far more purchasing power locally than the pounds do in the UK.

Effectively, then, they get paid a great deal more for doing the same job. There’s no comparison between them and Britons as no doubt immigrants would turn their noses up too if they were offered the same lousy deal many Britons are offered these days for full-time work. The suggestion they have a better work ethic seems to have no practical basis.

Let’s look at this another way. Suppose you run a small coffee shop. You need staff but the business model means you can’t afford to pay them much, not a great deal more than the minimum wage if that. You find the Britons by and large are grumpy and sullen (when you can get them to work at all) and that’s no good as you need them to be bright and cheerful to attract customers. One day a Polish girl pops in out of the blue and asks you for work. You’re impressed and give her a spare spot. She excels and you give her a full-time job. Later on she mentions her friend who’s in the country looking for work, an Estonian girl, so on that favourable recommendation you give her a try. She works out great too, so well in fact you start looking out for foreign girls to employ over and above British girls, they’re happier in their work and the customers like them. For a time you get by with friends of the two you already have, and their friends, but eventually you realise the best way to get them (things are going so well you’re thinking of opening another coffee shop) is to advertise in their country. That’s what you do. The Britons don’t get a chance to apply for the jobs anymore as they’re never advertised in this country (let alone on the expensive abomination that’s Universal Jobsmatch) and, even if they did get the job, unless they had aspirations at management via the ‘starting-at-the-bottom’ route it would be of no practical use to them from a financial perspective as the pay’s so low it’s just not worth their while.

Grasping this basic principle doesn’t seem to be that difficult, after all, it’s hardly rocket science, is it? So why then do so few appear to understand it at all?

P.S. I wrote the above after the subject of immigrants came up on The Big Benefits Row and no-one seemed aware of the reality.

A week or two later the subject again came up on so-called political discussion program (BBC’s Question Time) and it took a member of the audience to point out that some jobs weren’t advertised in the UK at all, only in other countries. The probable influence of favourable exchange rates simply never entered the discussion.

It seems to me that both points are integral to any examination of why some menial jobs are attractive to foreigners but not to UK citizens, yet none of the (I assume) informed experts on the panel brought them up.

This leads me to the conclusion, not for the first time, that all political discussion on mainstream media is for purely cosmetic purposes, there not to discuss important matters, but instead to make an ignorant, ill-informed public believe they’re discussed. Reality never gets an airing.

One Reply to “Why Immigrants Can Find Work Here And Enjoy It When Britons Can’t And Don’t.”

  1. Dear Bill,

    I just tweeted your article about why immigrants seem to get jobs in Britain when UK workers do not, after I checked your website when I received a notification you had added me to your twitter account.

    I have seen what you say happen in practice, and I’m very pleased there is someone out there writing about this.

    Best Wishes,

    Andy

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