69% say Government should do more to prioritise British candidates for UK jobs; 21% disagree
A majority of people think that the Government should do more to give British workers priority over foreign workers in the UK jobs market, our poll has found. The same poll shows that over half of Brits think that employers should give priority to British workers over foreign workers, even if the foreign applicants are better qualified, while around two in five disagree.
- 69% of British people think that the Government should do more to give British workers priority over foreign workers for jobs in the UK
- 21% disagree
- 51% think employers should give priority to British workers, even if there are better qualified foreign workers applying for the same role
- Compared to 39% who think that employers should recruit the most qualified and hardest working candidate, regardless of where they come from
Older people would prioritise Brits
There are marked differences between age groups on this subject.
- A full two-thirds (75%) of people over 60 say that the Government should do more to give British workers higher priority for UK jobs
- Compared to a low of 56% in agreement among 18 to 24 year olds.
The correlation is similarly strong when looking at who companies should employ:
- 51% of the 18-24s think that companies should employ the best candidate for the job regardless of where they come from, compared to just 37% of those over 60 who agree
- While conversely, 37% of the younger group say companies should give priority to British candidates, compared to 51% of the over 60s who say the same
Social grade appears to make a significant difference to views on this subject as well, our poll suggests: 65% of those in the ‘higher’ social grade (ABC1) agree that the Government should do more to prioritise British workers, while almost ten per cent more (74%) of the ‘lower’ grade (C2DE) feel the same – with 24% and 16% disagreeing, respectively.
Do bosses prefer foreign workers?
The latest ONS figures reportedly show that the number of foreign workers in employment in Britain over the past year has risen, while the amount of Britons in work has plummeted. The ONS statistics show that the number of UK-born workers has dropped by 311,000, while the number of foreign employees has grown by 181,000.
Despite this trend, some ministers have deemed it as ‘unacceptable’ for firms to only take on foreign workers. Employment Minister, Chris Grayling has said that he wants people, especially younger groups, to be in a better position in this country, and ‘to see them getting jobs that become vacant, rather than people coming into the UK [doing so]’.
His concern comes with the soaring unemployment figures that have hit a new level on record, with those aged 16-24 especially badly hit.
‘A miserable time’
Dr John Philpott from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development has commented on the employment situation, telling the BBC that ‘this is a miserable time for UK workers as well as the jobless’ and that what he called the ‘anaemic jobs/pay-tight recovery’ feels like a ‘recession’ in itself.
The Government has proposed several new suggestions to help ease the controversial problems, including offering financial incentives to firms who hire an apprentice for the first time, or helping companies to give young and potential employees without helpful qualifications and new chance to develop GSCE-level English and Maths skills.