Thursday, December 15, 2011

British businesses 'forced to hire migrants due to lack of skilled British workers'

The laziness of the English is proverbial in Australia so I have no doubt this story is true

Businesses are being ‘held back’ due to a chronic lack of ‘skilled workers’ in Britain and have to hire workers from overseas, a report reveals today.

The British Chambers of Commerce said nearly 60 per cent of businesses with more than 50 employees hire ‘some migrant workers’ because they ‘are unable to find the skilled workers they need in the UK’.

The damning verdict comes as the latest Office for National Statistics figures showed unemployment has hit a 17-year high of 2.62million.

John Longworth, director general of the BCC, said: ‘Many firms lack confidence in the ability of the education system to deliver the right people for the job. 'For some, hiring workers from overseas allows them to access the skills they need.’

These were not necessarily technical skills but some of the most basic abilities, from turning up punctually to an interview to being able to write basic English or to do the elementary maths, the BCC said.

According to ONS figures, the number of British-born workers with a job has crashed by 311,000 over the past year. But among foreign-born workers, the numbers jumped by 181,000 over the past year.

The majority of the migrant workforce of about half of businesses is from the outside the EU, the BCC said.

Mr Longworth said: ‘Business needs a migration policy for growth that allows UK firms to hire workers with the skills they need. 'This does not have to be at odds with promises to reduce net migration.’

The Department for Business said: ‘The Government is working with business to put practical skills at the heart of our education system.’


Australian immigration detention centre censors media reports

Soviet Russia in Australia?

IMMIGRATION Department officials will have the right to censor information gathered by journalists during a tour of the Inverbrackie detention centre today.

Strict rules have been imposed on media outlets that agreed to attend, including reporters being banned from interviewing or "engaging in any substantive communication with any detainee clients", or even moving away from their departmental tour guide.

The Advertiser will not be part of the tour because it refused to sign the department's 19-page "deed of agreement".

Every second of broadcast news segments about today's visit will be checked by Immigration Department censors, using "media content review forms" to order reporters to "pixelate, mute or delete" any material that identifies people or is not in the interests of the department.

The agreements have been controversial when used interstate and have been boycotted by some print media outlets.

But the Immigration and Citizenship Department has defended its use of the agreements as a protection of privacy for detainees and because the practical application of the deed was not heavy-handed.

It argued detainees could bolster their refugee status if media coverage of the tours in their home country identified them and put them at risk. "DIAC is willing to grant ... access to immigration detention facilities in a manner that respects the privacy of the detainee clients residing in such facilities," the deed states.

But the document also seeks to protect "the Australian Government's interests", "national interests" and the department's "responsibilities".

Newspaper Publishers' Association chief executive Mark Hollands said the deed was "appalling" because it censored final editorial content. "While access documents ... will often seek a certain behaviour or provide level of access, none that I have ever seen will demand the censoring of journalism at the end of access," Mr Mr Hollands said. "It brings shame and suspicion on the Australian Government.

"The association understands concerns that the department might have with regard to the identification of detainees and any repercussions that might have on their family and friends in their country of origin," he said. "However, the association believes media will be sympathetic to these issues."


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