Tuesday, April 05, 2016


I recently had a zero-hour work experience of a factory setting in central London, where the immigrant staffing (95%) incessantly communicated their belief that those ‘fair-paying’ factory jobs belonged only to them – immigrants.

A mention must be made of the fact that, on average, immigrants are typically more satisfied with lower living expenditures, work benefits, wages and amount of time off. It’s not only ego that pushes natives away from such physically and emotionally demanding positions. It is certainly not laziness, as other commentators would have you believe.

Personally, I fear that if I took a job at McDonald’s or a chicken shop, surrounded by immigrants, I would end up greasy, spotty, ill, fat and sad about myself and my life. I, like most of my native peers, am trying to make parents proud and secure a ‘decent job’ that pays enough to rent a house and save for holidays. We study for that, most often at the cost of crippling debts, so these unwanted’ jobs are unwanted because they do not offer certain things.

It’s not just that native people don’t want to do these jobs. They are dissuaded away from them, most prominently by immigrants, their cultural identity and their financial/lifestyle (socio-economic) demands.

They are perceived as less than a stop-gap or a stepping stone: these jobs are perceived to be ruinous of career trajectory. As a result of native and class culture, most natives would rather have a gap in their employment history than a period of employment as a street sweeper or burger flipper. Conversely, most natives do not deny work in other ‘unskilled’ and immigrant-saturated roles such as sales assistant, postal, waiting, removals and delivery positions, for example. 

This bias is because these types of roles are perceived as 'not great' but widely acceptable. With 80%+ of individuals earning around the minimum wage, pay dictates acceptability - as the main difference between acceptable and unwanted roles is the evaluation of the trade-off between occupation and gain. As in, if street sweeper, McDonald's or sweatshop-like factory worker roles paid as much as a state doctor's role, it is fair to expect that more natives would attempt to fill those positions. Any perceived drawbacks would be less of a deterrent.

Not to say that immigrants have no ambition, but the standards for their satisfaction are lower, on average, than natives. Immigrants are evidently joyous to be in the same jobs for the rest of their lives, they are coming from less. What is ‘shit’ to a native is good for an immigrant, if only for a period of novelty - after which, citizenship removes migrant status on both record and mind.

People born in wealthy countries can only be expected to have bubbling ambition, considering the fact they are essentially given a gift by being born in a country of opportunity. They, natives, have the illusion of disproportionate opportunity, applied by both foreigners and natives, to push them away from unskilled positions and towards positions of privilege.

This is often to the detriment of individual natives but lends security to immigrants. There are not enough skilled jobs for the desiring natives, a situation not helped by skilled foreign workers, but there is an abundance of unfilled unskilled easy-entry roles that pay minimal and break backs.

The inherent concept of accustoming to standards is in effect, with natives expecting some advancement on the previous statuses of their predecessors whilst non-rich immigrants are expecting to belong at the bottom when working in other more developed countries. Working in a role perceived as bottom of the range is almost guaranteed to make a native sadder than an immigrant.

The truth is that natives believe that they should have access to opportunities and paths of progression that are exclusive to natives, just as there appears to be such exclusive opportunities available to immigrants.

The ‘worst’ roles, such as street-sweeper, factory worker, elderly care assistant or toilet attendant, represent society with a baseline occupation realm that is perceived to exist only to provide roles to the most unfortunate of society; those who are school-leavers, ex-convicts, mentally disabled or immigrants without any grasp on the native language. Opportunities for sustenance. This is a good thing...

Without those roles being for them, where else would they sustain themselves? These unwanted opportunities should not be taken by individuals outside of the aforementioned demographics, for the benefit of everybody.

But, the categorisation of these unwanted roles should not extend much farther up the socio-economic-and-work-benefit ladder. Instead, more job types such as postmen, concierges, cleaners, sales assistants and construction workers are eagerly being disproportionately overfilled by immigrants. A considerable problem for natives is that: Employers in the UK and US are proven to increasingly have more faith in foreign workers than natives.

Choosiness is no myth, but it is overstated - as natives do want the majority of the low-paid positions. Ultimately, all but the worst types of job roles should be sufficiently filled by natives and their choosiness should be understood and accepted as a gift to immigrants and not a loathsome idiosyncrasy evident of over-privileged stupidity.

After all, the immigrant argument is a distraction from the, more impactful, inadequacies in employment and education services and regulations.

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