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Should British citizens get jobs over foreign workers?

DEBATE: Should priority be given to UK citizens when seeking work?

Two London 360 reporters go head to head in a debate about UK employment opportunities


The UK’s economy is becoming increasingly more 'export driven'. By putting a cap on foreign workers entering the country, hard-hit Britain will be prolonging its recovery from the economic recession.

Britain should cast aside the notion of ‘UK jobs for UK people’ and think twice before jumping to the conclusion that jobs should primarily go to British citizens.

‘Immigration' should not be confused with 'migration' into the country. A lot of young, foreign graduates seek employment in the UK primarily to gain work experience, and do not always intend on seeking indefinite leave to remain.

Foreign workers have given a lot to the development of this nation. Let us consider the medical industry. The health sector has seen a large number of Commonwealth workers contribute to the system, which includes highly-trained doctors and nurses.

By stopping skilled workers from coming to work in Britain, we are shooting ourselves in the foot. Granting UK visas for foreign nationals has also boosted employment in the IT industry and created fresh jobs in return.

The UK has already introduced an annual permanent cap on the Tier 1 Highly Skilled Migrant Programme visa structure, which will result in fewer highly-skilled workers trying to enter the country.

Moreover, international students, after graduation, were previously able to apply for a post study work visa that enabled them to work in the UK for a period of two years. With this system being scrapped, it will not only de-motivate international students from applying to universities here in the UK. It will also affect the UK's education system, which is estimated to be a £40 billion-a-year industry.

These new policies will clearly have a negative affect on foreign student admissions. This adds fuel to the fire as the rise in tuition fees will hamper UK national students from entering higher education.

The UK should consider more lenient laws for foreign employment and perhaps amend current policies so that companies have a right to employ foreign workers if they feel they are the best-suited individual for the job.

As long as foreign workers pay their taxes and contribute to the economy, there is no valid argument for the restrictions on immigration. It is a case of hiring 'the best person for the job', not 'the most British person for the job'. And if the UK wants to continue regarding itself as a fair, multi-cultural society, then it should continue to accept foreign workers.



Immigration control should not be based on race, but on the statistics of migration levels and how it impacts on other elements within British society.

Since 2004 there has been an influx of migrants from Eastern European countries when they joined the EU.

During this period of time the amount of British-born people in employment has gone down by 334,000, while almost 1.3 million foreign-born individuals have found work in the UK. It is an outrage that the UK will not employ its own people, but rather, it seems to look after the needs of foreign workers first.

Since 2008 the British economy has been suffering. This has led to higher living costs with increased taxes and salaries being frozen. It does not make sense to allow more foreign workers into the country when there are not enough jobs around.

Britain needs to be looking after its own populace, not creating more competition for jobs that are already over-subscribed.

A ludicrous recent report claimed that Britons are ‘unmotivated, uneducated and lacking in skills’, and this is apparently the reason why businesses are hiring skilled migrants (on lower pay). But if Britons had a fairer chance of getting a job, then maybe they wouldn't feel so unmotivated.

The only thing this report has shown- is a lack of respect for its own citizens who are paying for the running of this country.

Current youth unemployment statistics speak for themselves. There are a massive number of young, British people who can’t find a job. This is a lost generation of youngsters who have been failed by the system and are competing not only against each other for jobs, but against non-Brits., This fact just adds further insult to injury.

With this dire situation and general unemployment being at its highest level in years, something must be done to give British people the first chance of an available job.

To find out more about what our reporters are up to go to

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