MP for the Devizes constituency Claire Perry
2:49pm Thursday 15th August 2013 in Latest News
It has been buckets and spades all round this week as I have spent the past few days in Cornwall with my children and my big sister Jayne.
The weather has been kind, the walks as spectacular as ever, and I have enjoyed the obligatory pasties and cream teas rather too often. As a child I spent every summer break here and I think that holiday expectations become imprinted on one’s mind so that for me the essence of a holiday is the swish of the sea, the feel of a sandy towel and the smell of fish and chips – plus the steady tap, tap of windbreak mallets on the beach as this is England after all!
The beach kit has changed out of all proportion though, and I have been admiring whole families now clad in gorgeous neoprene wetsuits for body-boarding excursions whereas we braved the waves clad only in swimsuits. Strangely, I don’t remember the waves being unbearably cold – perhaps we were hardier then.
Cornwall is heaving with visitors and every corner offers a coffee stop or fun park with the result that there are many seasonal jobs on offer. The heartening thing is that most of this work appears to have been taken by people from the UK who have left their cities for a season (or for good) and moved to where the work is.
Although these are not long-term jobs, they are, as one woman from Birmingham said, “a lot better than sitting on benefits in the middle of town – and my two-year -old loves it too”. Even three years ago almost all of the temporary jobs would have been filled with foreign workers and this is a small but significant local sign that our changes in immigration policy and the refocusing of the welfare system are starting to have an effect and the national statistics bear this out. Of the 3.1 million new jobs created between 1997 and 2010, a shocking 2.3m went to foreign-born workers.
Now that situation has reversed, with almost two-thirds of new jobs created in the last year going to British workers.
With the economy now in a period of sustainable growth, new jobs will continue to flow.
But we still have skills shortages across the UK especially for maths and science graduates and these will continue for a while, meaning that there are many unfilled vacancies in these fields.
For me, it is a matter of national urgency that we fill these gaps with ‘home-grown’ talent.