www.lep.co.uk Lancashire Evening Post, Tuesday, July 6, 2010 21
The Government has announced
a 12-week ‘conversation’ with
ﬁrms about migration levels.
DAVID COATES ﬁnds bosses in
for the UK
Lancashire desperately seeking economy are
the right balance.
very high if we
T get this wrong
RAVEL into West Lanca-
shire this summer and you
will not have to travel too far BALANCE: Babs Murphy
to ﬁnd migrant workers.
For generations, the agricultur-
al businesses of the county have
relied on people travelling here
speciﬁcally to work on the farms
during the busy harvest periods.
“We have people who come
back year after year and even the
sons and daughters of fathers and
mothers that used to work here
coming back, it is a real tradi-
tion,” explains soft fruit farmer
Pete Rowlatt, who lives in Much
To him, the talk of the govern-
ment starting a 12-week consulta-
tion over a possible cap on non-
European Union workers coming
to Britain is more than just a head-
He says: “The majority of our
workers are from Eastern and
Central Europe and most of them
are from the EU, but we have
some who are not and plenty of
other farms in the area do as well,
so any cap would affect us.”
There is already a temporary
limit on the amount of workers QUOTA: A cap on migrant workers is expected next year
from outside Europe which will
be allowed into the country before She says: “It is essential that For Pete Rowlatt, the voice of
next April, to prevent a surge of British businesses that require Lancashire’s countryside must be
foreign workers coming to Britain highly-skilled workers are able heard just as loud and clear as any
ahead of the arrival of permanent to meet their recruitment needs, other highly-skilled employee.
limits. ﬁrms should be able to employ the Without this, he warns, the dan-
This is also an issue for those best possible talent to ensure the gers are far more severe than sti-
businesses which rely on highly- UK remains competitive. ﬂing growth.
skilled workers, particularly from “The stakes for the UK econo- He says: “This could ﬁnish some
the Far East, coming here to my are very high because if restric- people. Everyone says that we
work. tions on the entry of highly skilled should get English people in to do
Babs Murphy, chief executive non-EU migrants are too strict, these jobs, but there are not the
of the North and Western Lan- there could be damage to the people there who want to do it.
cashire Chamber of Commerce, economy and to future economic “The fact is, non-skilled workers
said it would ensure the needs of growth. are just as important as the skilled
businesses were heard “loud and “It is absolutely essential to get ones to agricultural businesses
clear” over the next three months. the balance right.” around here.”
The importance of being social
Nothing. Zero. Not a penny. dialogue, not a monologue.
That’s the total spend on my It has humanised my brand, al-
marketing budget this year, yet lowing me to ask questions and
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The 106m people signed up
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the social mediasphere, I can Marketing was once reliant on Tom Stables runs Tom Stables
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