The private sector to the rescue

Written by Adrian Hawkins, Co-Founder and Chairman biz4Biz, Chairman Weldability Sif, Director and Trustee of the Weldability Sif Foundation, Herts LEP Main Board Director, Chairman of the North Herts Studio Schools Trust and Director of the North Herts College.

The Private sector is credited with creating 2.1 million new jobs in the past 5 years but despite this marvellous feat against the odds of bank failures and a global recession, still we are to be criticised by a government minister for employing the wrong people! As always with politics, often a barb aimed at the private sector is designed to create obfuscation and hide the real issue, which is that we still fail to control immigration correctly, by which I mean clearly identify those entering our Country. Net migration has soared to an annual record high since 2005 of 330,000, prompting a government minister to accuse businesses of being too reliant on foreign workers.

James Brokenshire, the immigration minister, admitted that the figures were deeply disappointing but then criticised companies. “With nearly 100,000 non-EU students remaining in the UK at the end of their courses and British business still overly reliant on foreign workers in a number of sectors, there is much more to do,” he said.

The idea appears to be that rather than encouraging the best international talent to stay here, we train them up and kick them out, so it is our competitors who benefit.

When will we simply learn to discern the capability of those wanting to come to Great Britain, establish if they have a skill which we desperately require and properly prepare for them setting up home in our Country. How difficult can it be to establish this detail (just like the Americans do currently) before they arrive in the UK using an online portal? With major population movements across North Africa and Europe currently, surely it is not beyond the wit of man to consider taking our fair proportion of these poor people into our society.

With major skill shortages throughout the various trades across the UK we must get to grips with ensuring that the right people can come to our Country. Blaming the private sector for employing anyone is clearly derisory and astonishing to say the least. We have a great society but our education sector still fails to promote skills training with any real passion and parents are still too focused on sending their children to University as the only method to secure them a bright future. Whilst we are turning the tide in this respect we are fast running out of skilled personnel to re-industrialise this nation so that we can sell the products we manufacture in the UK abroad and pay off our national debt. This also seems like a great reason for building New Towns and Garden City’s nationally including the one we should be building here in North Herts at Odsey/Royston and save the Green Belt for another day in the future.

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