More training and jobs for UK citizens

Sir Iain Duncan Smith gave a good paper to the Seminar on Friday about controlling our borders and doing more to promote better paid work for people already legally settled in the UK.

He told us that when he was Work and Pensions Secretary he drew attention to the large numbers of people in the UK in entry level jobs who do not go on to receive training and promotion as we would like. He highlighted the way for example we have been importing people to be lorry drivers. It is a short course to convert a car licence into a truck permit. This qualification opens up better paid jobs for those who try it from having no formal qualifications.  He asked his department to  buy up training places and making  them available to UK residents. They told him no-one would want to do it. He bought 100 places for a pilot and there was plenty of demand. His officials told him it would be wasted money as they would not stay the course. 85% successfully completed it. He proved that we can train our own lorry drivers at home.

He then turned his mind to the shortage of nurses, where the UK has been raiding the health services of other, often poorer nations, to find us the nurses we need. It of course takes a lot longer to train a nurse. The same experience repeated. There were plenty of UK volunteers to train as a nurse. We need a system where the state pays if the person undergoing the training pledges to work for the NHS for a stated period after training. If they wish to avoid working for the NHS then they should have to repay the training cost.

Some UK companies are great at training and growing their own talent. The public sector and the other private companies need to get better at it. It is high time we ended the cheap labour from abroad model, and spent more time and money on nurturing talent and encouraging qualifications at home. I understand why big business think free movement of labour to scoop people from low pay countries is a good idea, but it is more difficult to grasp why the Lib Dems are so keen on it.

Iain recommended requiring everyone advertising a job here  to advertise in the UK first. He backed the  principles of the government’s points based system for migration, saying we would need to  monitor levels.  He supported  ending right to benefits until someone has worked here for a number of years or become a citizen. He used Migration Watch figures to demonstrate the net cost to the UK of inviting in people to do poorly paid jobs.

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  1. Lifelogic
    Posted March 8, 2020 at 5:24 am | Permalink

    Places at medical schools are severely rationed, I know of very good people some even ones with three A*s at A level unable to get places to read medicine. Importing doctors and other medical staff from poorer countries is questionable on moral grounds too. Also on grounds of safety as statistically they attract far more complaints and negligence claims.

    Furthermore over 50% of people trained in the UK do not go on to work for the NHS as it is not a remotely attractive employer for doctors. One surgeon I know retrained as a lawyer and now does medical negligence litigation against the NHS. Do we have our incentives right? Is it really important to train surgeons in all aspect of medicine over ten years. Could we not just train people directly just to do common hip operations, knee operations, cataract operations, foot operations and the likes directly – in perhaps one year rather than 10?

    • SM
      Posted March 8, 2020 at 7:30 am | Permalink

      No, you can’t just train people to do specialities in medicine from the start – they need some experience across the spectrum and then they will choose/be advised what area will suit them best.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted March 8, 2020 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

        Of course you could do. You do not have to know about every bit of an aircraft to fix the tyres on it or the ventilation system. If someone has other particularly complications to consider then clearly other specialists could be brought in as needed.

        • SM
          Posted March 8, 2020 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

          That is a spectacularly stupid analogy.

          • Lifelogic
            Posted March 8, 2020 at 6:58 pm | Permalink


          • John Hatfield
            Posted March 8, 2020 at 7:13 pm | Permalink

            Lifelogic is not the one being stupid – or insulting.

        • glen cullen
          Posted March 8, 2020 at 6:11 pm | Permalink


    • Anonymous
      Posted March 8, 2020 at 8:45 am | Permalink

      GCSEs are looked at too. Even one B at GCSE (out of 11 A*) can cause deselection.

      A med school candidate has to be fully focused from age 14. A full CV of volunteering in health and youth activities has to be built up too.

      The focus is on interpersonal skills and caring these days.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted March 8, 2020 at 9:14 am | Permalink

      For once I agree with most of your comment.

      Sadly, under Tory doctrine, almost ANY form of employment, whether for the NHS or for any other entity, has become onerous, oppressive, and demeaning.

      At least it teaches people to Know Their Place, though.

      And they wonder why a certain type of young man would rather turn to crime?

      • Fred H
        Posted March 8, 2020 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

        — absurd.

      • Edward2
        Posted March 8, 2020 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

        Complete nonsense.
        Employment rights have not been reduced under the Conservatives.
        We now have more people in work the ever before and a lower level of unemployment for decades.
        We also have a much higher minimum wage and a much higher starting point for paying income tax.

        • a-tracy
          Posted March 8, 2020 at 9:25 pm | Permalink

          Martin doesn’t know what he is talking about, the Tories introduced age discrimination legislation in the Equality Act of 2010.
          There are more complaints about under hours employment than people working too many hours now, so how is that too onerous?
          There is low unemployment people can move jobs easily there are employment agencies that find you work for free.

    • Hope
      Posted March 8, 2020 at 9:44 am | Permalink

      IDS writes a good piece about Priti Patel today. I hope changes are made from Sedwill down. He should have one job not three. He has failed the civil service and public by having too many fingers in too many pies, whether it be poor decisions HS2 Haewei or repeated leaks from civil service! He needs to get a grip, he is also paid twice more than he should. Cameron said no one should be paid more than the PM- when is this going to be delivered?

      Stop social engineering at schools and university, students chosen above those with better grades!, by getting rid of comprehensive schools that have not worked despite billions being poorer in. Get back to good grammar and independent schools where local authorities have a proven bad left wing record.

      It really is not not hard JR. Left wing London centric thinking must stop. The huge pay rise of MPs is an insult and disgrace.

    • SecretPeople
      Posted March 8, 2020 at 11:26 am | Permalink

      Someone in a position to know tells me that their university’s medical school targets a high percentage of overseas students on account of the higher fees they pay. This is both shortsighted and unsustainable. As you say, there are plenty of talented and enthusiastic potential trainees here in the UK who are unable to obtain places on MBChB; same goes for trainee nurses.

      Trainees have to learn about whole body systems since they treat whole people – for e.g. someone needing a hip replacement may also have diabetes, a heart condition and a haemophilia.

    • D J
      Posted March 10, 2020 at 8:15 pm | Permalink

      You have to remember that medicine is a cartel.
      The real money is in private work but British patients prefer British doctors.
      If you restrict the pool of people trained to provide this, usually on spurious grounds of ‘standards’, then you protect your income.
      Senior doctors have encouraged this for decades.
      As a doctor I have seen this.

  2. Lifelogic
    Posted March 8, 2020 at 5:51 am | Permalink

    In the Telegraph today Sunak says that he wants “lower rates of tax” during his time in office, as a way to increase economic growth. – well if they give higher rates of growth we surely need then now not just before the next election mate. We are at the highest, most complex and most idiotic rates already. Jam tomorrow is worthless rather like Cameron saying he was low tax at heart but very high tax in practice.

    He was also “looking at” objections to transaction taxes such as stamp duty, suggesting the levy could be changed in a future budget. – why a “further budget” these absurdly high rates are doing appalling economic damage right now and have been for several years! As is the taxation of profit not even made on landlords.

    He said he was examining “with interest” proposals to reclassify some spending as “investment” to allow himself greater room for manoeuvre. Well the best way to see if something is an investment is to get the private sector to invest in it. HS2 is clearly not investment, it is pissing tax payers money down the drain, and yet they count that as an “investment”. What government calls and or does not call an “investment” fools almost no one in the money markets. To test if it is an investment get private investors to take it on.

    What Sunak needs to do is cut out the vast amount of government waste and encourage more people to use private schools, private medical care and provide for themselves. It is everywhere one looks in government. Start by culling HS2 and the soft student “loans” for worthless degrees, about 75% of them are worthless. No one with lower than say 3 Bs at A level should really be going at all until they resist their A levels.

    • Bryan Harris
      Posted March 8, 2020 at 8:04 am | Permalink

      Having a decent, honest, and workable tax system is vital to our future. The current one is awful and cannot be fixed by tweaking.

      Yes, we all want to pay a lot less tax, but again vital that we go to a system of very small government to help kill the waste, and have large companies take pressure off the NHS with their own schemes.

      There are ways to revolutionize how we pay taxes, but the establishment is stuck in the dark ages when it comes to real innovation in this area.

    • turboterrier
      Posted March 8, 2020 at 8:28 am | Permalink


      Surely the key to increasing economic growth is to ensure that the existing high employer companies are given the tools to keep secure their existing order book contracts and then concentrate on new products to increase sales which in turn requires more labour, training, encourages investment resulting in more tax revenues.
      In the West Midlands where the PM wants to secure his hard won red wall areas it seems madness to bring in taxation which actually reduces demand and therefore output at JLR.

    • Bob
      Posted March 8, 2020 at 9:20 am | Permalink

      “Start by culling HS2 and the soft student “loans” for worthless degrees”

      There’s a whole industry grown up around these worthless degrees, universities have been expanding to cope with the demand and vice chancellors are being paid huge salaries to manage that expansion. The govt don’t care, they’ll just kick the can down the road in the customary fashion until our offspring end up footing the bill for writing off all of the unpaid debts, and in the meantime the people on the gravy train will have profited handsomely.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted March 8, 2020 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

        Indeed a big business in all those new student accommodation blocks too that would be hit.

        • Fred H
          Posted March 8, 2020 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

          but lots of single people – all ages may like to buy one!

    • Lifelogic
      Posted March 8, 2020 at 10:06 am | Permalink

      Perhaps Sunak could finally keep the promise (made by Osborne in October 2007) of raising the IHT threshold to £1 million per person. Surely 13 years is quite long enough to wait for delivery? What value can we put on any new promises the Conservative party make? Surely none at all until they keep this one. The threshold still remains at a pathetic £325k, far less in real terms and then a huge 40% tax rate cuts in directly after that.

      A bit worrying that Sunak (on Marr just now) thinks public finances and the UK economy are in strong position perhaps he has not had chance to look at the books yet! Still no real increase in average living standards for about 12 years still a huge deficit. Hopefully Sunak will not lie in the budget that that are “repaying the debt” as past PMs and Chancellors have done.

      Perhaps he is just lying. This as he feels he has to in order to give people confidence. Tax cuts and scrapping HS2, the net zero lunacy, cutting red tape and going for cheap energy would do far more for confidence that lies I feel.

    • Hope
      Posted March 8, 2020 at 10:12 am | Permalink

      Good articles in Con Woman today by Kathy Gyngell and Gary Oliver that the Tory govt needs to address in relation to JRs blog if there is to be any progress.

      Good riddance to Ms. Markel, her poodle and her woke hypocrisy at our expense, presumably going by her public views she does like to take her husbands name unless xxxx?

  3. Lifelogic
    Posted March 8, 2020 at 6:03 am | Permalink

    The BBC and the government are still absurdly alarmist about possible climate change in 100 years time and yet over the very real and immediate threat from covid 19 they endlessly play it down.

    90% will only get very mild symptoms they say and the mortality rate is really very low just wash you hands while singing they say.

    To me perhaps 10% needing intensive care and artificial ventilation equipment and perhaps over 1% of those infected dying in just a few weeks time, is a far, far greater and more immediate risk than climate change – but not to the government or the BBC it seems.

    • Matt
      Posted March 8, 2020 at 8:38 am | Permalink

      Pensioners and the elderly should already be self isolating. The damage to the economy of complete lock-down could kill many more than the virus itself. Similar to the effect the rush for zero carbon will have.

      The planet is already in a state of irreversible change. The Titanic is going to hit the iceberg. We should be adapting our lives to these changes rather than killing passengers on the ship.

      For example. The Environment Agency stopped dredging of rivers in order to save habitat for voles…. which have now drowned.

      So people are flooded out of homes and the voles are dead anyway. WTF ?

      • Richard1
        Posted March 8, 2020 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

        It’s very odd how little focus there has been on the success in Somerset of avoiding flooding such as there has been elsewhere, Somerset having ignored green strictures over dredging following the bad flooding there a few years ago. The twerps in the environment agency who in reality bear much responsibility for the floods are still all in place, with one past head (being a former left wing politician) having been made head of a Cambridge college. There is little or no accountability in the pubic sector it seems, except for politicians who can be voted out.

    • Richard1
      Posted March 8, 2020 at 11:02 am | Permalink

      Imagine if all the resources and political effort devoted in recent years to trying to manage average global temperatures down by a fraction of a degree in 50-100 years time by controlling man-made CO2 emissions had instead been put towards the – very well flagged and forecast – risk of a global pandemic!

      • Bob
        Posted March 8, 2020 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

        Looking at the epidemic from a govt perspective, a reduction of the elderly population would have following effects:
        – Reduction of state pension liabilities
        – More housing availability
        – Huge boost to IHT revenue
        – Reduction in demand for social and medical care
        No wonder they’ve decided to adopt the “three wise men” approach.
        Perhaps a better description would be the “three wise monkey” approach.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted March 8, 2020 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

          It appears that the European Union – notably Italy – are adopting the Chinese approach, which is successfully extinguishing the epidemic there.

          If the UK does not do the same then inevitably it will, in practice, end up being blockaded.

          What choice would there be for those countries, which have eliminated the threat at home?

          • Fred H
            Posted March 8, 2020 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

            which countries?

          • Edward2
            Posted March 8, 2020 at 8:23 pm | Permalink

            Have they actually reduced the number of cases ?

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted March 9, 2020 at 8:40 am | Permalink

            Read the WHO report.

            Do your own research.

            I defined those countries Fred. Any which are successful.

          • Edward2
            Posted March 9, 2020 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

            That isn’t an answer.
            The WHO report just uses the information given out by Chinese authorities.

          • NickC
            Posted March 9, 2020 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

            Martin, You are naive indeed if you trust what the communist government of China tells you.

    • hefner
      Posted March 8, 2020 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

      So LL, how is the private sector health care you were advertising some time ago day in day out responding to the coronavirus threat? How is the private health sector preparing for the ‘200,000 (10%) of coronavirus patients needing intensive care and artificial ventilation at any one time’ (LL, 07/03/2020 08:33 UK/EU talks)?

      • Lifelogic
        Posted March 8, 2020 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

        We have very little private sector health care in the UK as the free at the point of use NHS almost kills it. Hard to compete with “free”. The NHS is a socialist virtual monopoly.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted March 8, 2020 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

          How would you sell electricity for example at 10p per KWH if the state gave it away free paid for by taxes?

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted March 8, 2020 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

            Make it unavailable when you need it.

            Like the NHS is for many people.

  4. Lifelogic
    Posted March 8, 2020 at 6:19 am | Permalink

    Andrew Griffiths MP on Any Question is the latest MP to go on about electric aircraft (in ten years he thinks) and these being ‘zero emission’. Even the transport secretary thinks electric cars are zero emission! Could these deluded dopes get some sensible engineer/physicist to explain reality to them? Without some massive and unexpected leap in battery weight/capacity/charge time technology we will not have practical or economic electric aircraft for very, very many years. Neither would they be “zero emission” in any real sense anyway.

    • Ian Wragg
      Posted March 8, 2020 at 7:20 am | Permalink

      You will need a long cable for electric powered aircraft. Some of these people are beyond stupid.

    • turboterrier
      Posted March 8, 2020 at 8:08 am | Permalink


      Sadly for us the majority of the members of parliament do not have a clue about the real critical areas of industry and technology that can make UK plc the place to want to train, work, invest and live.
      As for electric planes, already the American aviation industry are exploring using hydrogen as a long term solution to the pollution problem from aero engines.
      The politicians really do need to start thinking outside the box. The problem might be they have not been trained to do so.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted March 8, 2020 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

        Not been trained to think at all most of them anyway!

    • Lifelogic
      Posted March 8, 2020 at 8:53 am | Permalink

      “For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for Nature cannot be fooled.”

      Richard Feynman

    • Bob
      Posted March 8, 2020 at 10:05 am | Permalink

      Another young lady, nineteen year old Naomi Seibt has studied and is able to intelligently discuss climate issues instead of simply reading out fear mongering lines written for by XR activists. She simply states that AGW is not evidence based but is driven by flawed computer models written by people whose incomes depend on keeping the AGW hypothesis alive.

      For this reason she is persona non grata at the BBC and is not invited to make televised speeches to world leaders at high profile conferences, and when invited on GMB she was shouted down by the host Piers Morgan while trying to explain the science.

      “In a time of universal deceit telling the truth is a revolutionary act”

      Don’t know why you have to be a young female to get heard, I can only assume it’s an extension of identity politics, because let’s face it, AGW is politics rather than science based.

      • glen cullen
        Posted March 8, 2020 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

        very true you will not see her on BBC nor SKY

    • Oldsalt
      Posted March 8, 2020 at 10:05 am | Permalink

      Not to mention the ongoing cost of maintenance the acquisition and supply of fuel etc for the massive increase in the generation and distribution of electricity which puts into question the overall efficiency of cost benefits into question just to transfer the co2 from one place to another at huge cost. All as exemplified by the cost comparison of heating by electricity which is around three times (please correct me if I am misinformed) that of gas, until it runs out of course.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted March 8, 2020 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

        Indeed the only way to make electric heating about as efficient as gas is by using heat pumps (fridges in reverse) buy these are very expensive to install and to maintain, need larger radiating areas and have other problems. Slow to heat up a cold building for example.

    • Adrian Ambroz
      Posted March 8, 2020 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

      This new faith is as convincing as Scientology, the Moonies, Hare Krishna & Spiritualism. At least these are relatively harmless & don’t impact on the majority unlike this new religion which will bear a huge cost on the non believers

  5. Shirley M
    Posted March 8, 2020 at 6:23 am | Permalink

    HGV training used to be provided by the company to employees. No longer. It is cheaper to get a readily available immigrant licenced driver. Also, many HGV drivers have been forced into contracting via a limited company instead of being employed. Not everyone wants to be their own boss, with the risks involved.

    Places for doctor and nurse training were intentionally restricted, and high university costs deter all but the most dedicated or wealthy.

    It feels as though every job above minimum pay requires a university degree these days (slight exaggeration). Why? Are employers no longer capable of training people? I worked with plenty of graduates, and many were no better than those who learned on the job, in fact they were often worse as they had no real work experience but many did have unrealistic expectations of immediate success and promotion.

    Mass immigration has cost the UK and its people a great deal in loss of training and other opportunities to improve the lot of the indigenous working man/woman.

    • Tabulazero
      Posted March 8, 2020 at 9:35 am | Permalink

      Because John Redwood and his friends in the Conservative Party sold full market liberalization as the solution to the UK’s problems for decades.

      It’s fun to see them turn socialists on us.

      • Edward2
        Posted March 8, 2020 at 10:19 pm | Permalink

        What has that got to do with the points made by Shirley in her post?
        And there is no full market liberalisation.
        The last decades has seen a huge number of State restrictions in the form of new laws rules regulations and directives.
        Most markets are controlled by a small number of large corporations.
        This is the era of crony capitalism not free markets.

      • NickC
        Posted March 9, 2020 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

        Tabulazero, And you, among many Remains, told us that we would be doomed for leaving the EU due to supply chain problems. You were told that supply chains were global, but sneered at the truth. The Covid-19 pandemic shows your Remain scaremongering was based on ignorance, or lies.

    • Peter
      Posted March 8, 2020 at 9:46 am | Permalink

      Universities became an industry themselves. They are a big money spinner. Associated businesses like student accommodation are also nice earners. Lots of brand new flats for students are springing up.

      University education also served to keep unemployment figures lower by delaying the age of many claimants.

      Whether a degree always benefits the graduate or the employer is a different matter. It may mean three years less earning and work experience and a student debt to be paid if earnings increase.

    • jerry
      Posted March 8, 2020 at 9:47 am | Permalink

      @Shirley M; “Mass immigration has cost the UK and its people a great deal in loss of training and other opportunities”

      Yeah, blame anyone bar those actually to blame, those in boardrooms and AGM meetings.

      Something has to fund greater operating profits & thus dividend, training is and has always been the early victim whenever the accounts depts fiscal scissors are taken out of their office supply cupboard.

    • Bob
      Posted March 8, 2020 at 10:27 am | Permalink

      “Are employers no longer capable of training people? “

      It’s so often the case that recent immigrants have better numeracy and literacy skills and a superior work ethic to those people emerging from the UK state education system.

      Our schools concentrate on fairness, egalitarianism, climate change and human rights, while the three Rs have been pushed to the bottom of the list.

  6. Laurie Driver
    Posted March 8, 2020 at 6:37 am | Permalink

    When we were members of the EU we could train nurses, lorry drivers and all sorts, and then they could work in the UK if they wanted , or in any other of 27 countries. Now that freedom and choice has been stolen from them. Young people have had their horizons lowered by your mean spirited spiteful ideological fixation with Brexit.

    • Frances Truscott
      Posted March 8, 2020 at 7:10 am | Permalink

      Really Laurie have you noticed the youth unemployment levels in the EU?
      Free movement has lost the med countries so much human capital it hampers their future. Greece has probably lost 50% of its youth.

      • margaret howard
        Posted March 8, 2020 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

        Frances Truscott

        “Greece has probably lost 50% of its youth”

        Where did you get these figures from?

        The reality is quite different because young people in education – students for example – are excluded.

        So for instance it is not 32% of all young people in Spain who are unemployed. It is 32% of those NOT in education or training. A recent study suggested this is around 13% of all young Spaniards.

        Does the same apply to Greece and those figures come from the likes of the Daily Mail?

        • Edward2
          Posted March 8, 2020 at 8:25 pm | Permalink

          Still way higher than USA or UK
          But you carry on accepting this dreadful waste created by EU austerity.

          • margaret howard
            Posted March 9, 2020 at 8:37 am | Permalink

            “USA or US?”

            What about Denmark, Sweden, Germany, France, and most other EU nations?

            EU austerity? You mean refusal to live with huge debts? Or in the case of the USA getting cheap oil by grabbing that of other nations like Iraq etc after illegal wars (aided and abetted by us)?

          • Edward2
            Posted March 9, 2020 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

            The original post was concerning Greece and the dreadful youth unemployment there caused mainly by EU imposed austerity.
            Which you support in the EU but strangely rant about it for us here in the UK.

            Now you use wharaboutery to switch your argument.
            Yes there are a few Euroland nations with lower than average unemployment and youth unemployment but the overall EU average is dreadful and mucj higher than the UK

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted March 8, 2020 at 7:53 am | Permalink


    • Matt
      Posted March 8, 2020 at 8:19 am | Permalink

      AKA Andy, people.

      • Matt
        Posted March 8, 2020 at 8:23 am | Permalink

        Nurses tend to choose the ANZAC nations rather than Europe, ‘Laurie Driver’. All of these nations have points systems.

        Are you saying Australia, New Zealand and Canada are mean spirited and spiteful ?

        • margaret howard
          Posted March 8, 2020 at 1:05 pm | Permalink


          “Are you saying Australia, New Zealand and Canada are mean spirited and spiteful ?”

          Odd that all they have in common is that they themselves are recent immigrants who destroyed the cultures that had existed there for thousands of years.

          Guilty conscience or fear the same could happen to them?

          You know the old saying:

          “What comes around goes around”

          • Matt
            Posted March 8, 2020 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

            So voters just take it ?

          • Edward2
            Posted March 8, 2020 at 8:26 pm | Permalink

            What cultures did they destroy?
            Last time I visited the standards of living and human rights of indigenous people were excellent.

          • Know-Dice
            Posted March 8, 2020 at 8:38 pm | Permalink

            And getting back to modern times… That is exactly what your beloved EU is doing now

    • Pud
      Posted March 8, 2020 at 8:46 am | Permalink

      If working in the EU was so important to UK citizens then wouldn’t more of them do so? Only 800,000 UK citizens live in EU countries for work, and that figure includes their dependents (source: Migration Watch). The UK population is 67.7 million.
      When Leave won the referendum many Remainers claimed that the difference between the Leave and Remain counts was negligible, but your ideological fixation with the EU means you want over 98% of the UK population to have the disadvantages and costs of EU membership to benefit the tiny proportion who work there.

    • margaret howard
      Posted March 8, 2020 at 8:50 am | Permalink


      Hear, Hear!

    • dixie
      Posted March 8, 2020 at 8:59 am | Permalink

      Why should I pay to educate someone who immediately leaves and contributes to a competitor’s economy at a cost and disadvantage to my own family?

    • Dave Andrews
      Posted March 8, 2020 at 9:35 am | Permalink

      Except they had no interest in working in the rEU. Look at the foreign language take-up in UK schools. People in the UK wanting to go abroad prefer the English speaking countries like the USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
      No problem for people in the rEU where English is the universal 2nd language and the children learn it. Perhaps now that we have left, they might treat their own languages more seriously, and perhaps too the children in this country might have more respect for European languages learning.

    • jerry
      Posted March 8, 2020 at 9:54 am | Permalink

      @Laurie Driver; Strange!… I knew someone who, back in the early 1970s, had a haulage company with offices in both the UK and Spain, he held a UK HGV licence but often worked out of Spain – it doesn’t need the EU for European countries to recognise the licences of other nations.

    • formula57
      Posted March 8, 2020 at 9:56 am | Permalink

      @ Laurie Driver – do contemporary youths lack gumption to the extent you imply such that they might believe their futures are materially blighted?

      The ones I know, not I think exceptions, do not view the world as consisting of 27 countries and are used to overcoming obstacles but then they have embraced life.

    • Edward2
      Posted March 8, 2020 at 11:54 am | Permalink

      Prove they cannot work in European countries.
      I worked in Europe before the EU invented freedom of movement.

  7. Andy
    Posted March 8, 2020 at 6:39 am | Permalink

    The mistake you make is to assume free movement of labour is a one way street – ‘them’ coming here. It isn’t. It is OUR free movement of labour too. And you have stolen it from us. Thanks to your party, Britons are now pretty much the only people in Europe who are not allowed to easily take their labour elsewhere. Cue howls of outrage from the xenophobic pensioners who do not understand why this is important.

    Sure, it absolutely affects young people who may have chosen to work abroad for a while – even if it was only to do jobs which Tory MPs may consider menial. But it also affects, for example, British lorry drivers. Previously they were free to hop in their cabs and drive to Slovenia if they wanted. Now? Well if they drive their trucks in the EU on a job they are working there. And because we will be placing draconian restrictions on EU citizens wanting to work here we can expect that to be reciprocated on our citizens wanting to work there. At the very least British lorry drivers will require significant extra bureaucracy to drive in Europe. Courtesy of the Brexiteers who promised less red tape. At the worst some may not be able to drive there at all. The poorest and least qualified will be the most badly affected.

    There is a weird Tory obsession with people not working. The fact is that most people who want a job have a job. Unemployment is low. Claiming benefit while unemployed is, rightly, difficult. And so you are targeting what is pretty much a non-problem. The biggest part of the welfare budget by far is not out of work benefits. It is pensions. And you stay strangely quiet on those.

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted March 8, 2020 at 7:52 am | Permalink

      Having paid taxes all my life, so that those before me on life’s journey can have pensions, I feel I’ve earned my pension. I have paid half my income in taxes – adding income tax, national insurance, VAT, council tax, duties on fuel, car tax, stamp duty, duties on alcohol, tax on savings interest, tax on insurance policy premiums, and a whole raft of other taxes. And despite the massively high taxation in this country, we still have one of the lowest pensions in the EU and we don’t get it until much later than other countries. So, belt up about pensions. Just pay your taxes to fund mine and wait your turn.

      Even now a quarter of my state pension goes straight back to the state by way of council tax.

    • Matt
      Posted March 8, 2020 at 8:17 am | Permalink

      It wasn’t ‘stolen’.

      It was voted for. Do you not get the difference ? No. You don’t.

      Those with the right skills still have freedom of movement. Those without the right skills should never have had it in the first place – that way lies cultural destruction.

      • Matt
        Posted March 8, 2020 at 8:25 am | Permalink

        Perhaps you should watch Auf Wiedersehen, Pet again. This comedy was set before Maastricht.

      • margaret howard
        Posted March 8, 2020 at 1:13 pm | Permalink


        “It wasn’t ‘stolen’. It was voted for.”

        By 17m mostly elderly people. In a country of nearly 70m!

        The joys of our ‘democracy’ know no end.

        • Matt
          Posted March 8, 2020 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

          The voting system was agreed before hand. Now you are weaseling out of it.

          • Edward2
            Posted March 8, 2020 at 10:26 pm | Permalink

            But nothing has been actually stolen.
            The ability to go abroad and work or travel or live or retire is still available.
            Just as it was before the EU invented freedom of movement.
            There will be admin in the future.
            There is admin now.
            There was admin when I did it decades ago.
            The differences are marginal.

        • Fred H
          Posted March 8, 2020 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

          your ignorance of voting, population, percentages and voting age shines through.

          • margaret howard
            Posted March 9, 2020 at 8:30 am | Permalink

            Really? Could you enlighten me please?

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted March 8, 2020 at 8:48 am | Permalink

      Why can’t you accept that there’s more of a problem with EU workers undercutting UK lorry drivers than vice versa? There’s no way a great horde of UK lorry drivers are going to be based in e.g. Lithuania. You’re talking b—–ks.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted March 8, 2020 at 8:50 am | Permalink

      No one assumes it is “a one way street”. I just wanted the UK to be in control of who comes and on what terms. Some degree of quality control and some sensible limit on numbers. If the EU want to turn away British people who want to work overseas that is up to them. They would be foolish to turn away the good ones and so they are unlikely to do so.

    • dixie
      Posted March 8, 2020 at 8:51 am | Permalink

      Don’t be silly, of course you and your children can take your labour elsewhere, just don’t expect me and my family or anyone else to pay or suffer for your unearned privilege.

      In contrast those who draw state pension have earned it through years of work and NI contributions.

    • Fred H
      Posted March 8, 2020 at 9:07 am | Permalink

      -There is a weird Tory obsession with people not working.

      Only a Tory obsession? – – you need to get out more or talk to ordinary people who might install some realism in your views.

    • jerry
      Posted March 8, 2020 at 10:07 am | Permalink

      @Andy; British people were working, living and opening businesses across what you call the EU well before the UK ever joined the EEC.

      If you really want to go and work in a EU27 country there is nothing to stop you, all Brexit has done is stop those who wake-up one morning and decide they want to move/work in another EU country on the whim.

      Also, whilst the numbers claiming UB/UC is low there are a lot of people who are economically idle for no good reason, these people are still a cost to the nation [1] -even more so when employers have to recruit migrant labour.

      [1] I include post 16 yo students doing full time courses that in the past would have been full time jobs with evening or day release training

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted March 8, 2020 at 10:47 am | Permalink

      Hi Andy – I see Nissan is investing £400 million in the Sunderland car plant. Embarrassingly based on your advice I’d already written to the workers to apologise for them all losing their jobs due to Brexit – seems you were wrong. Hard to believe. Makes me wonder what else you got wrong, still waiting for that civil unreat you promised too.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted March 8, 2020 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

        You could always write that letter to the Ford engine makers at Bridgend, to the steel workers at Port Talbot and elsewhere, to the Rolls Royce workers in Derby, and to countless more, Roy?

        • jerry
          Posted March 8, 2020 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

          @MiC; “the Ford engine makers at Bridgend

          Nothing to do with Brexit, the push agaisnt diesels and towards EVs is the killer there.

          “to the steel workers at Port Talbot and elsewhere, to the Rolls Royce workers in Derby”

          Again not a lot to do with Brexit but high energy prices, and push back against air travel in general because of the Green blob lobby.

          • Lifelogic
            Posted March 8, 2020 at 7:24 pm | Permalink


          • Edward2
            Posted March 8, 2020 at 10:32 pm | Permalink

            Well said Jerry.
            Completely correct.
            And dont forget to add the grants and cheap loans given to other UK factories by the EU to encourage their decision to move to other EU countries.
            Transit van factory in Southampton to Turkey and the JLR new factory built not in the UK but in Slovakia.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted March 9, 2020 at 8:42 am | Permalink

            Rubbish. It was mainly down to European Union customers cancelling long term orders because of likely tariffs.

          • Edward2
            Posted March 9, 2020 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

            Where is your proof for yet another ridiculous claim Martin?
            You think Jaguar and Ford moved to new factories because of low demand?

          • jerry
            Posted March 9, 2020 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

            @MiC; Nonsense, the motor industry are cancelling long term plans for new IC engines because the EU policy of pushing towards EVs. whilst the airline industry are suffering from the EUs long standing policy to encourage the use of HS rail links instead of short-haul flight around Europe.

            Unfortunately this is also still UK policy, due to ‘contineuity Brois…

        • Roy Grainger
          Posted March 8, 2020 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

          You are right Martin, the EU prevented us rescuing the steel industry due to their state aid level playing field regulations – lucky we left eh ?

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted March 9, 2020 at 8:43 am | Permalink

            Tory doctrine was a far stronger lock on that, so the point is moot, Roy.

          • Edward2
            Posted March 9, 2020 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

            Illegal to help under EU rules on State support for struggling industries.
            Plus expensive energy caused by green policies.

          • jerry
            Posted March 9, 2020 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

            @MiC; Not a moot point at all. It was the same EU state aid rules that also did for the MG Rover Group back in early 2005, under a (would-be) interventionist Labour Govt…

            Simple renationalisation of the group would have been illegal under EU rules, hence why the Govt was trying to secure a third-party rescue deal, direct intervention being limitedly to the UK Govt underwriting workers pay etc.

      • margaret howard
        Posted March 8, 2020 at 1:38 pm | Permalink


        So how that compare that with how many foreign companies have left because of Brexit? Any figures or just clutching at straws?

        • Roy Grainger
          Posted March 8, 2020 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

          So, you don’t provide any figures but demand that I do ? That’s not a level playing field !

      • Andy
        Posted March 8, 2020 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

        You see wrong. The £400m was announced in 2016 – Nissan were merely re-announcing part of it to coincide with the arrival of new machinery which will continue to build models they had already committed to making here. Nissan have made no long term decision. They have not committed to making their next models in the UK and they continue to say their business is unsustainable if there is no deal. There is a suggestion they will move all of their European production here – but that would effectively be on the basis that pretty much every other car manufacturer leaves.

        As for civil unrest. I think the fact that old people are panic buying toilet roll and pasta to cope with Coronavirus – a cold for the rest of us – is telling. It seems those who have spent the last four years invoking the Blitz spirit are really snowflakes.

        • Roy Grainger
          Posted March 8, 2020 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

          You and your chums on Bristol Council promised civil unrest die to Brexit. You promised Nissan workers would lose their jobs. 0 for 2 so far Andy !

        • jerry
          Posted March 9, 2020 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

          @Andy; Yet FOUR years later Nissan have not altered their plans, does that not tell you anything?!

          That press-tool could have been installed at any of their plants in the EU, if not world, if the UK is going to be such an unwelcoming place to build motor cars…

          The UK plant might or might not build EU models in the years to come but there is no reason why it could not build for other world markets.

          “Nissan have made no long term decision. They have not committed to making their next models in the UK and they continue to say their business is unsustainable if there is no deal.”

          It’s a negotiating position, especially as once beyond the WA, EU state aid rules will not apply – You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours.

          As for your last paragraph, how low can you get. 🙄

    • Lifelogic
      Posted March 8, 2020 at 10:53 am | Permalink

      It does however tend to be a bit one way. This as it tends to be people from lower paid countries coming to the higher paid ones. Also many more people speak English than British people are sufficient fluent in other EU languages to get a good job there.

      Where the British are going overseas many are doing so without any intention of working there. Perhaps to retire or live off investment income or similar.

    • Richard Stevens
      Posted March 8, 2020 at 11:12 am | Permalink

      Yes £144.00 a week is a very good state pension we can party all night and holidays abroad every other month on that payment and save in a low interest bank account. Its very odd that those that have not arrived at the retirement age yet seem to assume it is utopia for the aged.

      • Andy
        Posted March 8, 2020 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

        That is £144 a week in state handouts more than my family get. And it adds up to far more than most of you have ever paid in.

        You also get all the perks – TV licence, bus pass etc – have gold plated final salary pension schemes. And have hundreds of thousands of pounds in equity in your four bedroomed detached houses which you bought for £59 in 1968. ‘It was a lot of money back then…..’

        • Matt
          Posted March 8, 2020 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

          You’ve just wasted another Sunday fuming about Brexit.

          • Fred H
            Posted March 8, 2020 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

            indeed – almost every day.

        • a-tracy
          Posted March 8, 2020 at 8:13 pm | Permalink

          You silly Andy, your families age group gets lots of benefits the retired of today didn’t get whilst working, such as working tax credits, child tax credits, maternity pay for 9 months, maternity holiday pay for 28 days pa, paternity pay, minimum wage, all government led social costs. Minimum 28 days holiday including overtime averaged over previous 13 weeks, holidays paid while you’re sick, higher personal allowances, baby bonds, help to buy savings schemes.

          The tv licence was only free for the over 75s for a short time and from next month they have to pay.

          The majority were working from the age of 15/16 not staying on in school for another two years – not learning much if your maths is anything to go by as 50 years now paying in employer and employer ni currently at nearly 16% should produce a much better return than it does and pensions took a dip when Mr Brown robbed all but his fellow public sector workers pension investments.

        • Edward2
          Posted March 8, 2020 at 10:34 pm | Permalink

          They are not hand outs.
          They are the result of over 30 years of paying into National Insurance with weekly deductions from their weekly wages and a contribution from their employer.

    • Edward2
      Posted March 8, 2020 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

      Please explain exactly what “draconian restrictions” the UK is imposing on European lorry drivers coming to the UK in their lorries.
      Go on I’m keen to see if the strawman you based your rant on holds up.

      You still don’t understand that National Insurance funds pensions which employers and employees pay.
      For someone who claims to employ people I find your lack of understanding very odd.

    • Fred H
      Posted March 8, 2020 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

      Andy – – I have long suspected that you write your stuff with the objective of counting responses and aiming to exceed your previous best? Sir John assists – you should be eternally grateful you get ‘published’.

      • margaret howard
        Posted March 9, 2020 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

        Fred H

        Is that what you do?

    • Mature gent
      Posted March 8, 2020 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

      “Previously they were free to hop in their cabs and drive to Slovenia if they wanted. Now? ” That was illegal. Students are generally not covered insurance wise, for hopping into cabs, nor are the drivers, nor their companies. Stop being selfish! Pay the proper fare at an airport and don’t break the law again .All young people despise the working class and break the law all the time.

    • acorn
      Posted March 8, 2020 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

      Andy, did you know the DWP is going to spend £98 billion on state pensions this year? That is out of a total DWP spend of £196 billion. The latter being 36% of total government spending on services with the National Insurance Fund contributing circa £101 billion from the £140 billion it extracted from the populace.

      The triple locks on the state pension has resulted in pensions increasing at 2.8% per year compound for this decade. Much faster than wages. These pensioner votes are looking increasingly expensive.

      • Fred H
        Posted March 8, 2020 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

        well after paying into the scheme for in excess of 55 years, I have no qualms in taking whats mine… however want subsiding after just a few years.

      • a-tracy
        Posted March 10, 2020 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

        Whow a minute acorn, pensions may have increased by 2.8% but the minimum wage increased by 4.9% in 2019 and is due to increase by 6.2% in 2020.

        In comparison pensions have gone down compared with minimum incomes;
        2019 pension £168.60=£8767 pa compared to fulltime nlw £16009 54%
        2020 pension £175.20=£9110 pa compared to fulltime nlw £17004 53%

        The National Insurance Scheme was established on 5 July 1948 to provide unemployment benefit, sickness benefit, retirement pensions and other benefits in cases where individuals meet the contribution and other qualifying conditions.

        The National Insurance Fund Accounts present the receipts and payments for the financial year, as well as the balance on the Fund at the end of the year.

  8. Frances Truscott
    Posted March 8, 2020 at 7:07 am | Permalink

    Andy. The EU has many many millions of unemployed young people. It’s absurd to suggest EU companies would employ Brits .
    And no not everyone who wants a job here has one. There is age discrimination at all skill levels. It’s also the case that social housing locks people away from work. No one can afford two rents on entry level wages.

  9. Mark B
    Posted March 8, 2020 at 7:09 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    Under EU rules all jobs have to be advertised and all government contracts submitted throughout the EU. I believe that this is still the case even though we are told we have left the EU. In fact, I believe that government contracts will still be allowed to be tendered to EU even after 31/12/2020 at the UK government’s request ?

    I have no problem with EU or any citizen coming to the UK (legally) for work. So long as they are :

    a) not displacing a UK worker.
    b) are needed for a specific skill which we cannot easily find a UK citizen for.
    c) do not undercut UK workers wages and promotion prospects.
    d) able to meet UK qualifications for that job.

    I was told recently that, if you wish to demoralise someone, stop them for doing anything that they want to do. So if you, and MP, want to decrease immigration or help the less well off, then all the CS has to do is tell you it cannot be done and then make sure it isn’t. The MP will become disheartened and will either leave or be replaced. It is this culture of managed decline and status quo that must be challenged. Private industry does not work like this and, their (CS) malign influence must be curtailed. No more leading beyond authority 😉

  10. Mike Wilson
    Posted March 8, 2020 at 7:41 am | Permalink

    The ‘right to benefits’!? I worked for 48 years and never had any right to benefits. The joys of self employment and running your own business. I don’t imagine seasonal workers from the EU, working under ‘gang masters’ have any right to benefits either. All those in the gig economy have no right to benefits.

  11. Bryan Harris
    Posted March 8, 2020 at 7:54 am | Permalink

    Some very good points.
    On the question of citizen ship, it is something that should be earned, especially from those coming from another country.
    A UK citizen should of course be of good standing and have shown their support for UK values and prosperity, and of course be able to speak English.
    Citizenship should be suspended from those breaking the law with extreme violence and other crimes of excess..
    Without citizenship voting rights would not be available – Time we demonstrated the value we place on appropriate behaviour and attitude.

    • Shirley M
      Posted March 8, 2020 at 2:17 pm | Permalink


      Switzerland has the best system regarding citizenship.

  12. Sir Joe Soap
    Posted March 8, 2020 at 8:21 am | Permalink

    So if lorry drivers and nurses why not University students?
    Let them study under a grant system if they qualify for a worthwhile course (far fewer than now) and work in the UK for x years repaying the tuition through tax.

    • Fred H
      Posted March 8, 2020 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

      Joe Soap – – I’m tempted to counter with ‘what tuition?’ The more I hear about just a handful of tutor hours for uni students, the more I think do they need tutors, they are on their own.

  13. Johnny Dubb
    Posted March 8, 2020 at 8:23 am | Permalink

    Excellent article Sir John and great work from IDS. Interesting to hear of the inner workings of government and yet more examples of civil servants working against their bosses! As if these privately educated fools would know the aspirations of working people!
    Messrs Redwood, Duncan-Smith, Paterson & Bridgen appear to be real conservatives and therefore not in the Cabinet. Any more names for The Alternative Real Conservative Cabinet?

    • Johnny Dubb
      Posted March 8, 2020 at 8:27 am | Permalink

      I’ve long thought that many care workers, who are usually people who left education early, could be offered a fast track into nursing instead of being permanently confined to minimum wage. I’ve met some excellent ones. They have completed their basic apprenticeship and are definitely not ” too posh to wash”!

      • Lifelogic
        Posted March 8, 2020 at 7:26 pm | Permalink


  14. Thames Trader
    Posted March 8, 2020 at 8:29 am | Permalink

    Too many companies prefer to bring staff in from elsewhere rather than train their own. I worked in a large company where IT staff were brought in by a supplier from India just because they were a lot cheaper – although they didn’t explain it this way. The staff in question had a lot of enthusiasm and inadequate skills.

    When companies are trying to get a visa for immigrants the job they are trying to fill should be advertised. I maintain that these jobs should be placed on a government-maintained web site with full criteria and planned salary so that UK based job seekers can also apply for the jobs.

  15. Stred
    Posted March 8, 2020 at 8:32 am | Permalink

    The College of Nursing seems to be determined to make nursing into a managerial profession with those qualifying able to write dissertations rather than giving personal care to patients. The difficulty and expense of obtaining a degree must put many suitable people off. The last nail in the coffin must be the decision to withdraw the allowance and accommodation. The managers seem to be lacking in sense.
    However, the NHS is not so fussy when it comes to recruiting nurses from poor African and Asian countries. Some are well trained and caring, such as Phillipino nurses, but others that we have come across seemed to be uncaring and in one case their English was poor and they had mixed up the patients name and notes. Had we not visited, our friend may have been subject to the wrong operation. I doubt whether many foreign nurses have s degree which requires writing a dissertation.

    • Robert Mcdonald
      Posted March 8, 2020 at 9:29 pm | Permalink

      I have been concerned about the Blair inspired demand for degree trained nurses in apparent preference over caring nursing. One takes the ability to study for exams and production of verbose reports and the other needs understanding, compassion and care for the sick. I would much prefer the latter, with experienced and committed nurses overseeing the staff on the ward, Nursing Sisters they used to be called.

  16. Kevin
    Posted March 8, 2020 at 8:33 am | Permalink

    “to promote better paid work for people already legally settled in the UK”

    This phrase stuck in my mind so much I couldn’t get past the first paragraph.
    It seems engineered to be soulless. In plain meaning, the word, “settled”, excludes people who were born here. How many people in this country think of themselves as, “already legally settled in the UK”, as opposed to, say, “English”? Should we change the words of the song to be:
    “But in spite of all temptations to belong to other nations,
    He remains already legally settled in the UK”

    • forthurst
      Posted March 8, 2020 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

      Saying ‘English’ would be somewhat exclusive and JR needs to protect himself against the Thought Police. There are clearly jobs that only Englishmen do effectively from my experience, then there are others like politician, civil servant, surgeon, judge etc which are better done by women and others who are not in point of fact English although they might have an Anglicized name and hope to pass as one of us whilst working against us and being paid by us to do so.

  17. ian terry
    Posted March 8, 2020 at 8:35 am | Permalink

    Sir John

    IDS with his HGV training is proof that when you think outside the box and do not take the advice as read, you can make things happen. How many other areasof training for skill shortages are being held back by the lack of vision of the departmental civil servants?

    Some one needs to start to crank the swamp sludge valve handle.

  18. jerry
    Posted March 8, 2020 at 8:38 am | Permalink

    “[IDS] supported ending right to benefits until someone has worked here for a number of years or become a citizen. “

    Fine but then do not tax them as if they were a British citizen, immediately eligible for benefits, in the same way as those eligible for UK passport having just left full time education are. For his ideas to be free of legal challenge I suspect the UK would have to also pull out of the ECHR…

    Of course if both UK Business and Govt would take training more seriously there would be less need for migrant labour, especially when it comes to the needs and up take of manual labour trades (which lorry driving is one), Mr Corbyn was quite correct when he suggested the UK needs a NES rather than the complex, fragmented, College & University system we have now.

    Also IDS was being very simplistic when he told you that “It is a short course to convert a car licence into a truck permit.”, it assumes one has passed the far higher medical & eyesight checks, and that the trainee has already passed their CPC training, otherwise a free/cheap HGV training is as much use as a ashtray on a motorbike.

    At one time it was possible for someone, having passed the test for a full UK driving licence, to drive up to 7.5 tones (current N2 Sub-category), and that was often the route into the HGV industry for many, in fact there were some companies in the 1980s and ’90s who offered HGV driver training for free if the person worked for a reduced salary whilst driving their 7.5 tone lorries. Since Jan. 1997 that route is no longer open as the Full Licence now only permits up to 3.5 tone (light commercial) unless certain grandfather rights have been claimed, and of course all new drivers since 1997 can not claim those rights.

    Easier to gain a Forklift licence and make a career out of warehouse work, and no worries about being the fall-guy when a group of illegals break into your trailer unbeknown to you… Who would want to be a HGV driver these days?

  19. Jim
    Posted March 8, 2020 at 8:45 am | Permalink

    I always wondered what the purpose of the Brexit project was, to make us a swashbuckling free trader or to turn the UK into a ‘Miss Marple’ society, a poor but obedient lower class overseen by nice polite well educated folk.

    Well, it is still early days, but I don’t see much sign of swashbuckling. But the ‘Miss Marple’ idea is beginning to look more probable. A bit like the 1950s but without the prospect of growth.

    As for lorry drivers, smart well spoken children tell us that AI and electric power will be the future for lorries. Others are sceptical and do not expect much that is useful.

  20. Robert Bywater
    Posted March 8, 2020 at 8:49 am | Permalink

    That all makes a lot of sense.

  21. agricola
    Posted March 8, 2020 at 9:09 am | Permalink

    If Sir IDS’s experience with his departments was as reported, then the fault is in the department not in the populations willingness to train. Ultimately a minister must have the power to hire and fire from his ministry.

    A contractual commitment on the part of the trainee to remain in the public part of the service that trained him/her is also a sensible way forward. It should apply to the NHS, Education and our shortly to be revived fishing industry. There could be a post apprenticeship contract in private industry for a set period after training. For the trainee the benefit should be cost free. In fact I think that university training should contain a similar contractual commitment but be cost free for the majority of courses with a measurable benefit for the nation. Engineers, Scientists, Medical professionals being the most obvious cases. An ill educated population is a drag on the economy we can ill afford.

    There is also the moral question of scooping skilled labour from developing countries who need the talent themselves. Frankly I get sick of being asked by charities to fund well drilling for drinking water in countries around the World that should be sinking their own wells.

  22. John S
    Posted March 8, 2020 at 9:26 am | Permalink

    Reading IDS’s experience, my faith in civil servants is at an all time low.

  23. Hugh Gunn
    Posted March 8, 2020 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    Sir John,
    The key point you make seems ignored by your interlocutors.

    The Civil Service seemed ill-informed to the point of negligence.

    Is this the Home Office?

  24. Tabulazero
    Posted March 8, 2020 at 9:39 am | Permalink

    Is John Redwood turning socialist on us in the latter stage of his political career ?

    • Fred H
      Posted March 8, 2020 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

      I’d prefer to think he is encouraging common sense and respect for others, rather than joining those labelled socialists.

  25. Richard1
    Posted March 8, 2020 at 9:40 am | Permalink

    Over 1m UK citizens live in Australia and about 3/4m live in the US. All without freedom of movement or intended political union with those countries.

    • glen cullen
      Posted March 8, 2020 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

      and those systems work well in both directions

  26. Richard1
    Posted March 8, 2020 at 9:51 am | Permalink

    Good to see senior civil servants come out and criticise the shameful behaviour of the permanent secretary who gave an emotional interview to the bbc with a personal attack on his minister while flouncing out instead of stepping down quietly if he didn’t like his job or his political boss. There is a clear campaign to discredit Priti Patel because she believes 1) in having the same immigration policy for people wherever they come from and 2) she does not accept the appalling rise in crime, especially violent crime, as a fait accompli. Mrs Patel is the one with the public support. The liberal-left establishment are the ones who need to change. These people are there to serve the elected govt. they are not a permanent govt themselves.

  27. Peter
    Posted March 8, 2020 at 9:52 am | Permalink

    Larger better employers used to train people in house. Government courses have a sketchy record. You would need to ensure the training was of a high standard.

    However, preparing our own people for jobs is a better approach than importing foreigners.

  28. oldwulf
    Posted March 8, 2020 at 9:53 am | Permalink

    What training is received by Members of Parliament and by Local Councillors to assist them when they take our money from us, and spend it ?

  29. formula57
    Posted March 8, 2020 at 10:00 am | Permalink

    Your words today will not be even meagre comfort to any political party that is home to the welfare scrounger, public sector parasite and bogus asylum seeker.

  30. villaking
    Posted March 8, 2020 at 10:06 am | Permalink

    Sir John,
    4 of the 7 published contributions so far are from Lifelogic. They are all verbose and two have nothing to do with the subject matter. None offer any original input, any regular reader here knows LL’s view on the world and it is getting boringly repetitive. I come here to see some reasoned arguments and be challenged. Who’s blog is this?

    • SM
      Posted March 8, 2020 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

      Thanks villaking, I feel exactly the same way.

    • a-tracy
      Posted March 8, 2020 at 9:30 pm | Permalink

      I don’t understand you Villaking no one forces you to read LLs comments, skim them if you don’t want to read, you have to know what people contrary to you are thinking otherwise you’re just in a vacuum with no alternative perspective. I don’t agree with everything LL writes, LL annoys me when they talk about STEM being the only courses worth doing, however, when our highest universities like Oxford ban people from speaking we have to start to ask about who these students leading the protests are and investigate.

  31. The Prangwizard
    Posted March 8, 2020 at 10:20 am | Permalink

    This is very heartening. We need to promote and develop urgently pragmatic policies and practices of self reliance as a nation and as individuals. There’s a wall of resistance to overcome but let’s get to it and congratulations to all concerned in this.

    The majority of my working life was in domestic banking – retail I think it is called now. I started on the bottom rung and was trained internally the whole time. How far you got depended on how much you took advantages of the opportunities, but they were provided. Standards were high and not fully appreciated or understood outside. Then in the name of cost cutting and ‘modernisation’ they were thrown away.

  32. Sharon Jagger
    Posted March 8, 2020 at 10:31 am | Permalink

    Off topic.

    Why are flights still coming in from Milan and Tehran?

    Three flights from Milan came into Heathrow this morning alone!

    Is the government even trying to restrict the spread of the Corona Virus?

    Or are the Civil Serpents trying to lower the population (old people dying) to take pressure off the NHS budget, or take pressure off news elsewhere? I did see mention of delaying Brexit talks – it would be a good way to achieve that if our country is under a massive health scare?

    • Lifelogic
      Posted March 8, 2020 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

      No it seems not they are not even trying to delay it. Infected people arriving and perhaps getting straight on the the tube and trains. Still we are reassured by the health secretary that the NHS is very well prepared! I assume they have 20,000 or so isolated ICU beds with ventilators and anti-virals at the ready!

      In Italy the hospitals are already totally overwhelmed.

      • hefner
        Posted March 9, 2020 at 8:19 am | Permalink

        Nice sleight of hand, Lifelogic. You reduced your required number of isolated ICU beds with ventilators from 200,000 to 20,000 in less than 32 hours. Nice work.

      • a-tracy
        Posted March 9, 2020 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

        what makes you think 20,000 could need isolated ICU beds with ventilators and anti-virals?
        Do you know how many of the UK’s (current) 319 people diagnosed as having the virus are even in a hospital let alone needing this sort of treatment?
        Complacency allowing Italian flights and free movement from the outbreak Northern Italian regions right up to today was a major mistake. I believe Italy knew about this outbreak in the holiday region prior to the half-term holiday where thousands of people travelled there on holiday. I hope everyone on those Italian flights, crew, and baggage handlers have all been tested now.

    • a-tracy
      Posted March 8, 2020 at 9:33 pm | Permalink

      It’s disgusting Sharon and two baggage handlers at Heathrow now have the virus. If Boris doesn’t pay attention immediately to the Italian problem he will be very sorry when things start to seize up.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted March 9, 2020 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

        Most civilised countries have a public protection body precisely for this sort of eventuality.

        If we had one at all, then it would no doubt be some tinpot privatised “agency” with minimal staffing on short-term contracts.

        But you voted for these very failures to make provisions. That’s exactly what the everything-only-for-profit doctrine means – nothing on standby.

        • Edward2
          Posted March 9, 2020 at 9:01 pm | Permalink

          We have an excellent public health body.
          It is not motivated by profits.
          Stop making things up.

        • a-tracy
          Posted March 10, 2020 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

          Martin, our National Health Service is in the public sector bar GP services who I believe who are private contractors.

          Is Public Health England public or private (for-profit sector)?

          I read an article by Polly Toynbee today and she was saying there was no capital expenditure for GP practices and I thought well we had a shiny new practice for 3 re-sited clinics, and as our GPs are private contractors why wouldn’t they finance their practices privately? Are GP practices what you consider ‘only-for-profit’?

  33. Lynn Atkinson
    Posted March 8, 2020 at 10:38 am | Permalink

    Literally staggering that we are even discussing these basic issues. We are trying to teach the Civil Service (and a lot of MPs) what a nation and a country are!

    • jerry
      Posted March 8, 2020 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

      @Lynn Atkinson; Yet all “these basic issues” were known about and acted upon, by both politicos and civil servants, 41 plus years ago – so what changed between then and now?…

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted March 9, 2020 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

      And it’s pretty obvious to the whole world exactly what kind of country this now is, sadly.

  34. MeSET
    Posted March 8, 2020 at 10:48 am | Permalink

    “Sir Iain Duncan Smith… a short course to convert a car licence into a truck permit…… They told him no-one would want to do it.”
    I could write many long stories personally witnessed of ‘lad to lorry driver’ in support of Sir Iain’s idea. But never mind. He was right, He is right. Let’s get trucking!

  35. SecretPeople
    Posted March 8, 2020 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    I am very glad to read this. I hope those attending the seminar took on board Sir Iain’s ideas. Thank you for highlighting these proposals, Sir John.

  36. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted March 8, 2020 at 11:57 am | Permalink

    Did the paper include guidance for making adjustments for those with disabilities to make them as or more productive than everyone else in the workplace?

    There is a mass of talent and potential out there waiting to be unlocked through acceptance and adjustments.

    Financial help for employers to make these adjustments is available from Access to Work there is a Disability Confident scheme to remove the fear from employing disabled talent

    There are organisations who provide guidance to employers (from the employers’ perspective) who want to take advantage of this talent pool but are worried about how to go about it. The average adjustment cost is minimal and provides a loyal, productive member of your team (either retaining one or recruiting one).

    Opportunities abound!

  37. Robert Mcdonald
    Posted March 8, 2020 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

    A breath of fresh air. One of Blair’s biggest failures was to talk of education, education, education, instead of skills. Result, stupid time wasting unsellable degrees instead of real world trade development promotion. Some people are fine with paper based studies. Some, just as intelligent and committed, don’t, but would grab the sort of opportunities that IDS was promoting. A thought, is there a way criminals in goal can get such skill training and even sentence reduction for achievements. Many are there thanks to lack of opportunity.

  38. Everhopeful
    Posted March 8, 2020 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

    The Civil Service used to have its own in-house IT training and produced programs that WORKED. Then it began to employ contractors at goodness know how many times the wages……..!!!

  39. David
    Posted March 8, 2020 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

    I have had a good experience with doctors including foreign trained but its embarrassing that my country is dependent on these. Of course it’s good that professionals can practice internationally but we must pull our weight.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted March 8, 2020 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

      Some are indeed excellent but, on average, they do have a worse litigation and complaint rate.

  40. William Long
    Posted March 8, 2020 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

    A very interesting post. Presumably the officials advising Sir Iain about lorry drivers and nurses were the same ones who have made such a meal of introducing Universal Credit?

  41. Iain Gill
    Posted March 8, 2020 at 9:58 pm | Permalink

    its not just entry level jobs, but grad level, and experienced level too

    sounds like our MP’s need a dummies guide to exactly how the outsourcing business works

    would make them choke on their coffee if they realised the reality

  42. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted March 9, 2020 at 1:07 am | Permalink

    There are many people in this country who do not recognise nation states and see no reason to prefer our own people to foreigners. As IDS has shown, they can be successfully resisted.

  43. dixie
    Posted March 9, 2020 at 5:25 am | Permalink

    The need for training and retraining is across the spectrum, not just in the “high value” advanced subjects but also in the less technical areas. So it is particularly encouraging that IDS explored the driver example and doubly so that he ran a pilot exercise in the teeth of ignorance.

    It is especially encouraging that he proved the bureaucrats wrong, but did the bureaucrats change their attitudes?

    I was made redundant some years ago at an age where I would not be taken on as a new-hire in my profession owing to imported younger competition and outsourcing limiting the scope. Because this occurred as part of a company receivership I was legally required to register as unemployed at the Job Centre and my first and only question was what training/retraining opportunities were available.

    The answer was I could not go on any training packages for the first 6 months of unemployment. This may have changed since but as I had made provision for redundancy I signed off immediately and made my own way.

    But what of those people who do not or cannot make provision? Why was it 6 months? Why are our people wasted by an ignorant bureaucracy. Why is so much attention given to the self-centred minority like Andy et al who profess to care but only about the politically acceptable needy?

  44. anon
    Posted March 12, 2020 at 8:09 pm | Permalink

    The person who gave advice to a minister without ever trialing it should be removed from any position of potential influence.

  • About John Redwood

    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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