The lesson of not being able to find sandwich makers in Northampton


It would, of course, have to be The Guardian that manages to get the story of looking for sandwich makers in Hungary completely arse over tip. We mean, of course, come on, it would just have to be, wouldn't it? The story being that a company that makes pre-packaged sandwiches for the supermarkets and the like finds that its new factory in Northampton is finding it difficult to recruit workers. So, they go off to an agency in Hungary to see if anyone there would like to relocate. That's the story we're being told, don't worry over much about the details. At which point Mary Dejevsky (for it is she) tells us that:

The UK, I fear, persists in the delusion that it is a high-skilled high-productivity, high-pay economy when for at least a decade or more it has been nothing of the kind.


If this were a low-skill, low-pay economy then there would be armies of people willing to do low-skill, low-wage, jobs like making sandwiches. That there are Hungarians willing to relocate shows that Hungary quite probably is such a low-skill, low-wage, economy. Further, that the UK apparently needs to import such low-skill and low-wage labour shows that the UK economy is offering higher-skill and higher-wage jobs to the indigenes.

The very story being used to prove the contention in fact proves exactly the opposite of the contention being made. People have better options than low-skill, low-paid jobs. Thus the UK economy cannot be said to be reliant upon low-skill, low-pay jobs.

What is so difficult about this for people to understand?