Help whites compete with foreign migrants for jobs: British watchdog

October 29th, 2008 - 3:32 pm ICT by IANS  

London, Oct 29 (IANS) Britain’s Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has warned that the country’s immigrants may face the anger of the white working class currently disadvantaged in both education and employment when compared to foreign migrants. EHRC chairman Trevor Phillips has said at a conference of the Confederation of British Industry that in some parts of the country, “the colour of disadvantage is not black or brown, it is white”.

According to him, the current recession has hit the whites more than the ethnic minorities and the perception should not be allowed to grow that the migrants are taking more jobs than local Britons.

Calling for immediate government action to uplift the white working class, Phillips was quoted by The Times as saying: “We may need to do so with the sort of special measures we’ve previously targeted at ethnic minorities. But the name of the game today is to tackle inequality, not racial special pleading. We will fail to do so at our peril.”

Education and employment are the two areas Phillips has identified where the white population needs to be encouraged to compete with foreign migrants. He quoted statistics as showing that while two-thirds of Chinese students and three out of five Indian students get above average marks in school, nearly 85 percent of white students did not fare that well.

Philips wants the government to set up fiscal grants for white students along the lines of the ethnic minority education grant.

He said while recession may have hit jobs in the banking and other primary sectors, little attention was paid to the number of whites losing temporary jobs, even menial ones, in recent months. Such Britons are bound to be angry to find that ethnic minorities continue to get employment, he said.

Speaking at the same venue, Immigration Minister Phil Woolas said the government would not cap migration but instead use the new, points-based immigration system to control economic migration.

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