The problem with trying to be transparent is that the true extent of problems become known whereas the previous Labour government hid the real unemployment figures, the employment minister Chris Grayling has said.
At the same time, he accused young British workers of not having the “get up and go” of immigrant workers who regularly beat them in job interviews. And he is expected to say in a forthcoming speech that it is “mad” for companies to send customer service work, such as call centres, overseas.
Reacting to Office for National Statistics figures showing the number of British-born workers went down by 208,000 last year while the number of foreign-born workers went up by 212,000, Grayling said: “You’ve got these young people who are up against somebody who may be five or six years older, who has had the get up and go to cross a continent, to come to the UK. And employers are very often giving that older person the chance, rather than that young inexperienced person.”
On transparency, the minister said that under Labour around 1.3m people, including 40,000 young people, were on training schemes so didn’t show up as unemployed. Under the coalition’s work programme, he said, no-one “disappears” from the system.
“What you see is what you get,” he said. “That was not the case under the New Deal. We’re giving a true picture rather than an artificial one.”
In a speech to the Policy Exchange think tank, Grayling will say: “We all know how frustrating it can be speaking to a call centre operator overseas who works from a set script but doesn’t get what your problem is.”
And he will have a go at those who called the government’s work experience programme “slave labour”.
“Well that’s just insulting to some great companies who are helping young people get a job,” Grayling will say, “not to mention the young people benefiting from placements by picking up the valuable skills and experience they need to get a leg up into the world of work.
“And there’s the union leaders who demand swingeing taxes on wealth creators and unrealistic pay rises and more protection for their members. We have to face up to some simple realities. Britain can only succeed if it fights against these outdated dogmas and faces up to the world as it is. The future is not about more and more regulation to provide more and more comfort and protection for our citizens. If we go down that route there will be no jobs for them to have.”