In a week when the Home Office has slashed the number of jobs on the shortage occupations list to reduce non-EU workers, the Daily Mail reveals that Tesco is recruiting staff for its UK stores from Slovakia after bosses claimed no suitable British candidates were available.
The supermarket chain has offered 12 weeks’ training, plus help with immigration paperwork and housing, in a bid to lure English-speaking recruits from eastern-Europe.
Bosses deny that they are turning abroad for cheap labour. They claim that they are struggling to fill roles with British candidates – despite the 2.5million lining up for unemployment benefits.
UK store managers’ salaries range from £26,000 to £60,000 a year. The average wage in Slovakia is £7,500. The country, formerly part of communist Czechoslovakia, has has an unemployment rate of 14.5 per cent.
The vacant posts are in London, where unemployment is 6.3 per cent. The chain is looking for at least 238 staff to fill posts across the capital.
A Tesco spokesman told the Sun: ‘We make every effort to recruit from local communities, but we can’t always fill vacancies.
‘It is much more expensive to recruit from Europe. We do it as a last resort.’
The news comes days after claims by the big supermarkets to be driving economic growth by creating thousands of jobs were exposed as a sham.
Figures from their own annual reports revealed that the number of full-time jobs offered by Tesco and Sainsbury’s has actually fallen over the past two years.
It means virtually every announcement boasting of their creation of thousands of jobs is matched by cuts in other areas.
While the supermarket giants are building vast stores and extending others, staff numbers are not growing to match the extra sales space, figures also revealed. Source: Daily Mail.
On Monday government announced this week that it will remove 8 occupations from the points-based system’s shortage occupation list, which effectively means employers will not be able to recruit non-EU workers for jobs such as Senior Care Workers and Chefs.
The Home Office said:
‘If an occupation is on the shortage occupation list, this means that there are not enough resident workers in the UK to do the available jobs in that occupation. When the 8 occupations are removed from the list, the number of jobs available to migrants under the list will be reduced from 500,000 to around 230,000.
The government is also removing 71 professions from the list of 192 approved jobs under Tier 2 of the points-based system, as they have been deemed to be below graduate level.
If a major employer like Tesco, one of the world’s most successful retailers, cannot recruit British workers for clean white collar jobs paying salaries between £26,000 and £60,000, what chance has a care home got of finding care workers or takeaway restaurants recruiting Chefs offering less than £8.00 per hour?
Slovakians, like other A8 EU nationals can work in the UK without a Work Permit and from 30 April will not even have to register under the Workers Registration Scheme which is closed.
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