UK rolls out red carpet to attract Portuguese brickies to work

UK rolls out red carpet to attract Portuguese brickies to work

They are some of the best-paid jobs going for immigrants to UK, and the Portuguese are filling them as fast as they can. According to a report in the Daily Mail this week, Portuguese bricklayers are being offered as much as £1000 per week because not enough Britons can do the job.
Said a spokesman for recruiting company Manpower: “There is a severe shortage of skilled tradespeople in Britain – bricklayers, plumbers, electricians, mechanical engineers, HGV drivers. Where companies were paying £500 a week at the beginning of the year, the demand for these skills means they are now paying £1,000 a week.”
It’s a reality that has seen Portuguese flocking as their own country’s building industry remains locked in the doldrums – and as the Mail points out, whereas in Portugal the average salary is £10,000, it is almost treble that in UK.
But the news is not entirely greeted with delight in England, where stories of Portuguese nurses recruited into local hospitals highlight the fact that many arriving “can’t even speak the language”.
In a shock report last month, the Mail carried a conversation with a Portuguese nurse from Porto who had recently been hired on a minimum salary of £2,500 a month – double at least of anything she could have got in Portugal.
When asked if her English was good, she replied: “No! You think my English is good? But they (the hospital managers) thought. They said it was a good English. I said to him, to they, my English not very good. My medical English is not very good.”
As the Mail pointed out, critics are concerned that nurses’ low-level language skills “could put patients at risk” particularly as many of the nurses are “unable to understand medical instructions in English or even the words for numbers so that they can make-up correct drug doses”.
Luckily for bricklayers, these concerns are irrelevant.