To The Observer
One reason so many eastern European workers came to Britain – famously, Polish builders – was that however bad the old communist states were, at least they had good technical education systems. In the UK we have governments dominated by people who went to schools where the academic route was taken for granted, and who simply don’t understand vocational education. We could have a fantastic system, but we persistently undervalue and underfund it.
This political failure was always the case, even under Labour, but since 2010 the Tories have cut funding by nearly a quarter. That’s why we have such a lack of the kind of skills required for what we persist in calling “low-paid jobs”.
Jeremy Cushing, Exeter
I entirely agree! In Central London almost all the painters, electricians plumbers, woodworkers etc. are from Central Europe. And very skilled and hard- working they are. When they go to technical schools they learn about everything needed to keep a customer’s house upright and working satisfactorily. And they work hard! All too many Brits, when we depended on them, turned up late, drank tea and went home at 3 p.m. The trained Poles were particularly welcome.
But now, apparently, the Polish economy is good, the Poles in Britain don’t feel welcome, and they are leaving in large numbers. One of the things that the Brexiteers haven’t considered is the backlash when the man or woman in the street can’t find anyone trained to fix the plumbing, because they have all gone home. It will be the fault of the Tories/ Brexiteers and their snooty attitude, as Mr. Cushing (above) points out, towards “low-paid jobs”, (which are about to become rather high paid ones, one suspects) . Of course , these Tories will not take responsibility. They will have lost the ability to blame the EU, but will find another bogus scapegoat.
Not surprising that Epicurus despised politics. Not a lot has changed.