The UK is now a well and truly multicultural country. 90% of us work together in harmony. In general, we have one thing in common: we are all British. Despite being British our ethnic origin is very diverse with origins from various countries including India, Pakistan, Nigeria, Europe, Australia, America as well England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland.
The Scottish Government SAF project was originally just as diverse and what a great bunch of people to work with. I counted Nigerian, Polish, Spanish, Greek, a couple who had come over from India and then British with diverse ethnic backgrounds including Pakistan, Malaysia and finally English, Welsh and a couple of token Scottish for the project.
With the introduction of the new Delivery Director the ethnic spread of the project became increasingly Indian, with UK Citizens of all ethnic origins (including Indian), Europeans and Nigerians being “rolled off” to make way for the new (mostly) Indian workforce that came through Spectromax Solutions.
All of those people who came into the country on Tier 2 Visas were brought in to replace existing workers, regardless of their ethnicity. This is wrong. In order to obtain a Tier 2 Visa placement, a company must demonstrate that there are no resident workers willing and able to do the job. They are not allowed to sack to order.
The issues with immigration are not that we are racist or do not like immigrants. The issues are that we are already a multi-ethnic, multi-racial nation and we are being replaced with people on Tier 2 visas because these people are cheaper and can be abused for fear of losing their job and being shipped home jobless and without pay. No provision is made to look after these people once they come over here and their treatment is appalling.
As an example, some of the workers that came through Spectromax did not receive payment for over 70 days and their complaints to Scottish Government HR, Citizens Advice, The Employment Agencies Standards Inspectorate and HMRC National Minimum Wage hotline got them no help whatsoever. They are truly alone if things go wrong.
We will never shut down the Tier 2 system and it would be wrong to try and do so. These Tier 2 workers are, just like to rest of us, driven by family needs, have partners and children and they want to obtain good work. They are good people
Our objective is to ensure that Tier 2 workers are paid exactly the same money as their UK equivalents and are given the same working rights. This will stop them being abused and will stop them being cheaper. With those measures in place, the Tier 2 system can be used genuinely for what it is designed – to bring workers into the country when there are genuinely none available here in the UK willing and able to do the same work at the appropriate rate.