COUNCIL INQUIRY: Employment concerns under the spotlight

THE arrival of EU migrants into Boston has had no impact on job availability for local people, according to trade unions in the area.

Officials from two of the main unions representing workers in the Boston area have said they think other factors are to blame for the struggling jobs market in the area, and not large numbers of migrants .

In fact, the GMB’s Dave Shamma said he thought it was ‘simple’ to argue that is the main reason for the issues.

He told the inquiry: “I don’t think an influx of migrant labour has put British workers out of work and I don’t think it is why there are three million unemployed.

“I think it’s quite a simple argument and it has been put forward since the Windrush. I don’t believe it was the case then and I don’t think it’s the case now.”

His comments were not well received by the public attending the meeting.

Member of the public Bob McCauley said: “We have so many people in this county doing jobs that the indigenous population could do. I see this as keeping the British worker down.”

Paul Goodale, who represented Unite, said many local workers believed they were ‘pushed out’ by migrant workers in factories and pack houses around the area, but nobody had come forward for help with these issues.

He said that, so far as those out of work are concerned, Boston’s figures are similar to the rest of the UK.

Boston’s Job Centre manager said that, despite concerns raised, there are not large numbers of migrant workers claiming benefits.

Paul Southall told the inquiry: “We have very few foreign nationals claiming benefits. When people come into the county from the EU they have normally got a job lined up to come to. We have no evidence whatsoever to support the theory that migrant workers take jobs from local people.”

Of the 1,518 people currently claiming job seekers’ allowance, staff aim to get 54.3 per cent back into work within 13 weeks, 75.4 per cent in 26 weeks and 91 per cent within a year. So far, they have achieved those targets.