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Brexodous – let’s hope not

Brexodous – Let’s hope not, says Spotless CEO Roger Green.

Figures issued by the Office of National Statistics today estimate that there was a net migration of 230,000 more people coming to the UK, than leaving in the 12 months to June 2017.

Immigration specifically fell by 80,000 people which is a third less than the previous year and could be attributed to being a consequence of the Brexit vote. Three quarters of that drop was down to fewer EU citizens coming to live in the UK but it also shows that the UK is still seen as a desirable place for foreigners to come to live and work.

And as far as Spotless is concerned, if our guests are here to work hard and to contribute, we absolutely welcome them.

Why? Because they are generally outstanding workers; honest, hard-working and ambitious.

There are currently 2.2 million EU citizens in the UK workforce. We employ over 600 of them. While it’s true that no one is irreplaceable, it would be a little challenging to replace them all with workers who share a similar work ethic.

The talk of the end of free movement into the UK has certainly been making many excellent workers feel they have outstayed their welcome.

But thankfully the hype and negativity towards foreigners at the time of last June’s Referendum has died down, and the UKIP voice appears to have melted away. So apart from the occasional rant on social media, our EU friends are feeling more settled.

These ambitious workers have quickly earned recognition for their hard work and commitment to Spotless and many now find themselves in management positions. In fact some of them will become our next tranche of leaders.

I don’t want to detract from the loyal and hardworking UK workforce. They too pull their weight, and more. And they are happy to encourage their EU friends.

But with an ever- increasing minimum wage and a wide range of jobs all offering a rate of £7.50 an hour (£7.83 from 1 April 2018) for full time work, then admittedly the lure of a two-hour daily cleaning job is now less appealing than it was.

It is therefore even more important than ever before to make our EU workers feel welcome and valued so that the uncertainty of our times doesn’t deter them from continuing to work here.