Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Filipino workers in Britain

On August 26 the BNP website featured an article called 150,000 British Jobs for Filipino Workers and claimed a Manila-based newspaper "proudly" announced that “Despite the worldwide recession, more than 150,000 jobs are being offered in the United Kingdom to foreign workers, including Filipinos”.
The BNP quoted recruitment consultant Emmanuel Geslani, who, according to the BNP:
helpfully informs the Filipino masses that the "UK’s immigration system points-based scheme allows all qualified applicants to enter the UK under a managed immigration program with a five-tier system for all foreign nationals seeking to enter, or remain in the country."
The article concludes:
So there you have it: British jobs for everyone except British workers. One cannot imagine any other country actively encouraging foreign nationals to take away the jobs and rights of its own nationals — except the Tory and Labour run madhouse that is Britain.
Yesterday I was fortunate enough to interview Mr 'Manny' Geslani himself to find out more about the recruitment of Filipinos for Britain.

Manny, who has a background mainly in public relations, and who acts as a recruitment consultant for several agencies, was surprised by the BNP article, and said:
If you believe in freedom, then everybody has the right to find jobs where they are qualified and fulfil all the legal requirements. Since Great Britain is a long time champion of democracy and freedom, and if British people are not interested in certain types of work, then why not allow others to apply for those jobs?British people can come freely to the Philippines and even find work or set up a company and employ their own nationals. You do not even need a visa for a short visit. Many of my clients are British businessmen happily working here involved in finding applicants for the study-work programme in the UK.

Filipinos are not going to the UK to take anybody's job, but are going to study at a college or university or to do work no British person wants to do. If British people applied for these courses with work experience, there would be no need to recruit abroad.

Most of the courses are in healthcare or caregiving, and they involve some work experience as part of those courses. Filipinos can work legally for 20 hours a week to earn enough money for their food and keep. They usually work in care homes or nursing homes, and it is hard work that the British people do not want.

My impression is that British people do not take care of their old people as we do in the Philippines, but that the old go to live in Homes. With an ageing population, there are many old needing care. As not enough numbers of British like to work in these Homes, who is to take care of the old?

Filipinos on study-work programmes support the local economy and pay the fees of the schools and colleges which they attend. They are serious students with aspirations to improve themselves and gain internationally recognised qualifications. Filipino applicants must already hold some qualifications before they can be accepted for such courses.
Mr Emmanuel 'Manny' Geslani

Mr Geslani was scornful of the protectionist BNP article:
There are over 10,000 vacancies in healthcare and care-giving in Britain, and 500,000 unemployed licensed nurses in the Philippines. It's true we have many nursing colleges here that encourage our nurses to go abroad. This is a policy dating from the seventies when the USA was calling for nurses. Now it is more difficult to enter the US, and it is the UK that seeks health workers.

We do need more medical staff and hospitals in the Philippines, and we encourage our legislators to invest in improving provincial hospitals, but in the meantime here is an opportunity for our people to train abroad on study-work visas, to improve their English, to be exposed to good practices and to gain internationally recognised qualifications in health care. Then they can apply to the USA or Canada or even re-apply to Britain for more training.

Only at the end of all that training and passing all of the exams can they think of applying for a work permit or resident status.

Since 2008 the British Embassy has approved about 4,000 study-work visas, and they have their own people to screen each applicant. The British Embassy requires proof that the students have qualifications, have a reasonable standard of English, and have money for tuition in advance and cash in a bank account for rent and food.

These Filipino applicants to the study-work programme are highly motivated and are investing in their own future, bringing to Britain the best Filipino virtues of aspiration, hard-work, kindness to those who need care, and hard cash.

My message to the BNP article is simple.

Go to hell!

By Barbara Suzuki

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