The Skills Gap: Whites need not apply, or are too fat?

Priti Patel, self-styled head-mistress from hell, wants to get the British working again, all of them. She says eight million Brits are ‘economically inactive,’ so idle they don’t even collect their dole money, presumably spending their time hypnotised by eating pizza and watching on-line porn.   

She plans to stop importing cheap labour from Europe and push fat white Brits into our 810, 000 job vacancies, 110,000 of them in the ‘care sector.’ She’ll somehow have to persuade farmers and the owners of coffee shops not just to take them on but to pay them enough to keep them interested.

Priti’s plans are being vilified by the CBI, ‘Cares UK’ and KPMG, representing a network of firms in nearly two hundred countries, who estimate that the UK hospitality sector requires 62,000 EU migrants a year to maintain its current prosperity. Well they would, wouldn’t they? Importing cheap labour suits many powerful groups as well as the pizza eaters. But as a middle- aged English woman who wanted to work it gave me a five-year nightmare.

I unexpectedly lost a well-paid job in 2005, a year after Tony Blair relaxed immigration controls after ten new nations including Poland, Lithuania and Hungary, were admitted to the EU. At first, I was happy to lose it, after being in the same office for fifteen years but I miscalculated the market. The man who sacked me went upstairs to head the whole newspaper group putting him in charge of all the papers I might have written for, no one there would dare to employ me, or even be seen with me in the street, and the newspaper industry had seriously contracted. I was out in the cold with two mortgages and a cat to support.

I thought I’d go for new things that interested me. There was a job advertised writing publicity for the Natural History Museum. The posh lady who interviewed me was apologetic saying they’d decided to get someone ‘in house.’ I liked it there so I wondered about being a guide. All those I spoke to were Portuguese and very young. One told me that she’d been recruited like the others through an agency, using an EU website offering hundreds of jobs in the UK, none in her own country. She was bitter that they took most of her wages but young enough to enjoy an adventure in London.

I tried the Museum of London, one of my favourite places. They were looking for guides with ‘people skills,’ and a degree in History. For the first time I was also asked about my sexuality. In desperation I ticked ‘Lesbian’ as I honestly believed it would help my prospects, but worried about the problem of keeping that persona going if I got the job. They also wanted, ‘cash-handling,’ ‘retail skills’ and despite being ‘The Museum of London,’ some Polish or Punjabi.

That also was the first time I noticed the extreme wideness of modern job requirements; intended to employ fewer people doing more things. I have a History degree and some Polish but didn’t get an interview. It was no good trying other galleries. The National Gallery at that time was employing East European youths as attendants who would get you in a head-lock if you got too near the paintings. The Wallace Collection kept its elderly, white, male attendants in place, but their shop was staffed by pretty Japanese.

I gave up on interesting jobs and had a look at the local café. A Polish woman told me scathingly but at least honestly, that I was too old at forty- eight. It was obvious that I wasn’t Polish enough either. I went to a cleaning agency. They didn’t like me either as I hadn’t done it before, and from what I saw most of their workers were girls from Chile.  

The local Morrisons had acres of tills were adorned by middle-aged women, all Asian. The shelf-stackers were young Asian men who laughed when I asked about doing it. I tried the local care-home. The manager told me she employed young African men, who were willing to work twelve-hour shifts for low pay which, importantly she said, they sent home to support their families. Globalised altruism was obviously  important to her but she had no interest in helping me.

I tried to become a doctor’s receptionist, the final outpost for aging white women.  Nearly got it, but they got someone they already knew.

My job search lasted for five years. I wrote a piece about it for the London Standard. The  head of ‘human resources’ at the Museum wrote a letter to the paper saying I was ‘The last person’ he would ever employ. Yes; I was white, British and over forty.

I was forced to do what all washed-up no hopers do; teaching. I approached a local prison and they accepted me hardly asking any questions asked. It reminded me of when I moved to London in 1983 and applied to be a nursing auxiliary. They measured me for the uniform at the first interview. A sure sign that you are ‘in.’

I look back and laugh but at the time I found my exclusion from the British job market terrifying and depressing. I was not represented by an agency from Europe so I had no chance to work in any British institution except a prison.

At the time young people, many of them highly skilled, were pouring in happy to take rock bottom wages. We were on the way to creating a slave economy, a situation which Michael Portillo this week called ‘decadent.’  It wasn’t just bad for us. A friend in Poland complained that almost all her neighbours had gone to England, marriages had broken down, villages and small towns were deserted.

One of woman had gone to work in a care-home in Cornwall one of the most job and income deprived places in the UK. Figures produced last year by Eurostat, a European Union data agency, showed that Cornish people earn less than £14,300 a year and the seventeen Cornish neighbourhoods are among the ten percent most deprived in England. Yet local jobs were going to people in Krakow.  

Since Tony Blair opened the borders we’ve had a toxic mix of the greed of employers and the parlous state of the British work force, divided so rigidly between the professional classes and all the rest; where the work ethic, that vital link between work and self-respect has been terribly dissolved and ordinary people progressively de-skilled.

Will Priti be able to harry the obese, inactive Brits back to work? Having explained to them what exactly work is, how you need to turn up, and on time, almost every day, and do a good job, she will then have to find people to pay them more than a pittance. She will also need somehow to rapidly educate them. The golden years for employers will be over but if she can manage to get the British back to work, they will have to stand back like the rest of us and admire a miracle. 

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12 Comments on The Skills Gap: Whites need not apply, or are too fat?

  1. Probably I shouldn’t leave any comments here having such a name and surname – I beg your pardon in advance, but the personal story of unsuccessful job hunting finally gives an impression that author just blames other people who try to find their way in this hard life far from home. Who is guilty that you didn’t have any profession, but only two mortgages and cat? Who is guilty that you had to compete with Asian people to get the right to place stuff on shelves in a shop? Life is hard and sometimes it reminds us that we need to fight to have things which we were taking for granted.

  2. Dear Jane, You write with insight and personal experience. I have also been in your position, looking for work when white and over forty is extremely hard. The mix of wealthy liberal guilt, and ferocious corporate greed that runs organisations in both the public and private sectors has created a means of justifying the mass importation of labour and skills from elsewhere, indeed from anywhere. Anyone outside the managerialist class is in a vulnerable position, no matter their skills or experience. The Human Remains departments are ideologically ruthless, and act as both the thought police, controlling those in work, and guard dogs keeping out anyone who might potentially have their own mind and therefore not be fully compliant. For too long British workers have had to put up with an employer’s job market, if Pritti Patel can create an employee’s job market, she will have done a great favour to all the people of these islands. Stopping immigration is the first step.

  3. Very good observation by Jane. Remember all us Brits suddenly became lazy after the 2nd world war. We can’t do dirty jobs can we. Only immigrants ever worked down the pits, in the steelworks, on the farms, on the trawlers, on the shipyards etc, etc. Believe all this bunkum if you will. Immigration after WW2 caused wages to fall, and rents in housing to rise. Those in control gained, the indigenous working class lost out. End of story.

  4. A very sane commentary on the realities of how unchecked immigration distorts the job market. Jane Kelly mentions Cornwall, where I live; and what she says is all too obviously accurate. Her piece is complementary to Alistair Miller’s “Kicking the Immigration Habit”, for while Jane Kelly describes what happens on the ground, Mr Miller reveals the mechanisms that produce a situation that, for social stability and national cohesion, is little short of disastrous.

  5. The globalist liberal-left has no love of the nation state and its culture and is the NKVD arm of government/corporate interests who worship only untrammelled power and bigger profits.

  6. Reading between the lines, you seem to come across as a rather bitter, pompous, self-entitled individual. It’s no wonder absolutely none of those employers would touch you,

    Some of those requirements are clearly illegal, so I wonder if you bothered to report it.

    You carry on telling yourself it’s because of all those foreigners, despite the tories continually telling us more people are in work than ever before.

    And what the hell’s eating pizza got to do with anything?

    Bottom line, what a load of utter, borderline illiterate tripe this is.

    • And you come across as one of those aggressively arrogant, diversity-policing trolls who patrol conservative websites hunting down anyone who has the audicity to express views not in harmony with the unthinking socialist world view taken as gospel truth in certain quarters. Open borders and the free movement of foreign labour must never be questioned – and so on with the Lefty bluster.

      “…borderline illiterate tripe…”?! Your comment is not made in good faith and is no more than the spiteful utterance of a would-be disrupter who has come here not to read but to seek opportunities to hurl abuse. That is a timeworn tactic long favoured by the hard Left.

      As for pizza – try not to be so literal minded and you might gain a fuller understanding of what you are reading.

    • Might or might not be tripe but it’s certainly not illiterate. Jane knows how to express herself in clear concise English. Your writing style – each angry sentence made into a paragraph – would look good in the Daily Mail, if it weren’t for the primary school level sentence construction.

    • You Sir are a cad! How dare you speak to a Lady like that. In another age I would have challenged you to a duel, and, by God, I would have shot you, and the pleasure would have been all mine.

      • Doctor, you should have mentioned the name of the cad, making it easier for colonials to know who (or whom) you’re addressing.

        But Jane did catch my attention repeating the testimony of Mandy Rice-Davies. The two of them actually bear a resemblance, don’t you think?