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The UK Job Market: It’s not for everyone

Finding a balance between social, political and economic need.

It is hardly a wonder that the UK are now witnessing serious calls to tackle immigration and Cameron’s immigration policy changes fall neatly in line with his recent Eurosceptic cabinet reshuffle. Last week he announced that the time period in which non-nationals would be able to claim benefits would be halved from six to three months and they would also be unable to claim benefits for their first three months of stay within the UK. This stance is certainly directed towards the many voters that the Tories are wishing to reclaim from UKIP. However, a scan of Twitter quickly confirms that they have not been won over and many consider this to be too little, too late. Essentially, the tightening of immigration has taken Cameron 4 years and has been criticised for being conveniently announced in the run up to the general election, making it difficult for many voters to see this action as little more than campaign propaganda.

Alongside this reduction of benefits Cameron has pledged to stop more than 500,000 British jobs being advertised across the EU. Previously under the EURES scheme, all positions advertised in the UK had to be offered to EU citizens as well. On top of this, the scheme provided European workers with funding to cover travel expenses for interviews within the UK, relocation costs, English lessons and gave UK firms up to £1000 if they hired foreign workers. Arguably, the fact that of the 2.4 million jobs advertised on the EURES site, 1,138,847 were UK based jobs indicates the root of the UK’s immigration issue and subsequently the high levels of unemployment experienced particularly amongst young school and college leavers. Thus, Cameron’s calls to clamp down on recruitment agencies that only seek foreign labour and to reduce the advertisement of UK jobs within the EU should see employment benefits for the UK’s younger population, but these changes have wider implications, especially when considering the impact on the UK’s economy.

Cameron’s immigration policies are certainly intended to paint a more promising future for Britain, with the suggestion of many more jobs available and a reduction of benefits being allocated to non-nationals. However, critics have scorned this as nothing more than a cheap attempt to win voters especially considering that these policies go directly against the economic advice of the IMF who have warned that restrictive immigration policies within the UK could hinder productivity growth. This follows from an IMF report, which outlined that:

‘relaxing immigration requirements in areas with labour shortages such as manufacturing could provide a boost to productivity and facilitate the rebalancing of the UK economy.’

Thus, surely Cameron’s calls to reduce immigration are set directly against the IMF’s recommendation and indicate that he values pleasing the Eurosceptic punters above fostering the UK’s economy? This is, however, perhaps unfair as Cameron has clearly stated within all of this that the immigration changes still recognise the economic value of many immigrants and that the UK will continue to grant visas for graduate entrepreneurs and those of exceptional talent who will contribute to its growing economy. As Cameron has said, this is all about

‘carefully and painstakingly…building an economy that has real opportunities for our young people’

and should his projected outcomes of these policy changes prevail, the benefits should be seen directly in youth unemployment levels.


How does your country find a balance in this political hot-topic? Do you think the UK is handling it in an appropriate way?


Feature image: source

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Comments not written in English will be given a translation below the original comment. This is because English is largely the common language of most of GYE's readers and thus we hope this will facilitate discussion and debate.

30 Comments on The UK Job Market: It’s not for everyone

  1. Alfonso Bronner // August 9, 2014 at 11:17 am // Reply

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  2. another attribute is diversified workers

    Like

  3. I’m pleased to see that there may be a change in strategy where job advertising is concerned. We can’t advertise jobs to a large population of potential employees and then complain that a particular segment aren’t getting enough jobs.

    Like

  4. I don’t think that jobs in the UK should be only advertised within the UK. If a country is part of the EU and with that comes free movement of people then everyone should be able to find out about and apply for the jobs. Otherwise thats discrimination!

    Like

  5. I agree. It is wrong na unfair to not want to tell people about jobs when the UK doesn’t want non-british citizens needing to claim state benefit. People will move around europe anyway so why try and make it hard for them?

    Like

  6. any kind of healthy the competition is good though

    Like

  7. Sophie Wilson // September 23, 2014 at 8:46 am // Reply

    hmmmm good title for this article – so many ways to interpret it! ha!

    Well here’s my input – lets all just get along! Less of the he took my job, she doesn’t belong here and more of ‘oh hey globalisation’ this is the world we live in. a multi cultural one, after all sharing is caring ;)

    Like

  8. I feel very strongly that the UK shouldn’t advertise their jobs to the wider EU when they have significant unemployment. It is not discrimination to look after your own before others.

    Like

  9. I’m curious about the EURES scheme for advertising jobs across the EU for its citizens. Why is the UK posting 1.138 million jobs out of the 2.4 million total? That’s more than 50% yet we don’t possess more than half the population, industry or jobs of the EU. Are we the only ones playing by the rules? If so, it must be time for a change even though it runs contrary to our national tendency towards tolerance.

    Like

    • Milly Bygrave // October 9, 2014 at 9:17 pm // Reply

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts Ade. It does seem that the UK is having some difficulty in finding the balance between embracing its EU membership and pursuing its national objectives simultaneously.

      Like

  10. Great article.

    Like

  11. uk are probably inexperienced in the organization of free moving people

    Like

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