skilled workers

‘Low Skilled’ Migrants ‘Actually Pretty Crucial’, Tory MP Admits

Conservative MP Steve Double addressed Parliament to say the coronavirus pandemic has “taught us” that ‘low skilled’ workers “are actually pretty crucial to the smooth running of our country”.

Double called on the Home Secretary Priti Patel to redesign the points-based immigration system, expressing concern that the new system for 2021 does not adequately reflect the importance of key sector workers. Industries including agriculture, retail, care and food production have a significant number of workers who are migrants to the UK. As the pandemic has highlighted, sectors previously dismissed as ‘low skilled’ are actually proving to be fulfilling the country’s necessities.

Double argues for low skilled migrants
Brexiteer and Conservative MP, Steve Double, has urged the Home Secretary to re-evaluate the post-Brexit immigration plan. [Image: Parliament TV/The New European.]

Currently, sectors such as the above and others consist of Britain’s “key workers”: the people we are relying on in this time of crisis. Yet, Patel’s new immigration policies are aimed at reducing immigration and making it difficult for migrants to obtain a job or remain in the UK. This will have a drastic impact on those sectors and has been pointed out repeatedly by frontline staff prior to the coronavirus pandemic yet until now, has fallen on deaf ears.

But by continuing to refer to Britain’s carers, shop workers, delivery drivers and more, even now, as being “low-skilled” shows how out of touch the Home Secretary is

Patel retorted that the Government “have never said that people at lower skill levels are unimportant,” but by continuing to refer to Britain’s carers, shop workers, delivery drivers and more, even now, as being “low-skilled” shows how out of touch the Home Secretary is. Commentators and critics are expressing their frustration with Patel and other MPs who continue to use such language despite the fact, as Alex King states, they are “the real wealth creators.”

Patel continued to say that the points-based system is designed to ensure “care and compassion” but seems to be unable to understand, or acknowledge, it does not nothing of the sort. 

Patel is against low skilled immigration
The Home Secretary, Priti Patel, has been a staunch defender of her ill-fitted immigration plan. [Image: Neil Hall/EPA/EFE/Euractiv.]

The new immigration system is set to launch by January 2021 with a view it will lead to a “high wage, high-skill, high productivity economy.” By not including sectors such as care and retail, this infers they are not high skill or high productivity, yet this is not the case. Our key workers are currently working every hour possible, often on a modest salary, and even in some cases in risky situations that could put them at a higher risk of being infected by coronavirus.

Priti Patel would be foolish to stubbornly stand by her flawed system in a time of national crisis simply because it’s the Government line to keep immigration down

The British public have been stockpiling food and resources such as toilet paper amid fears, with the Government giving out mixed messages over the past few weeks. The PM addressed the nation last night to say food shopping is limited to once a week.

Priti Patel would be foolish to stubbornly stand by her flawed system in a time of national crisis simply because it’s the Government line to keep immigration down. Covid-19 is exposing so many of the problems in our society, and the way we speak of and treat our key workers – migrants and nationals – is of upmost importance. Now is a time of deep reflection followed by fair, safe and efficient action.

[Header image: HR Magazine.]

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