Farms with labour intensive crops, which require picking and processing, rely heavily upon migrant workers, mostly from the Eastern bloc. They have for decades come to the UK to pick fruit and vegetables; some seasonally and others have settled here permanently.
It is noteworthy that farmers value these workers very highly. Mainly because they are willing to work hard, and learn the skills required. They are reliable and loyal, and appreciate the good wages they receive. (Some earn as much as £700/week).
Most bosses take good care of their work force, giving them clean and comfortable accommodation, and show concern for their welfare.
In nearby towns and villages there are unemployed locals who are content to live on welfare. They would not consider this good honest work, because they consider such employment beneath them!
Even if they do give it a try, as we have in the past with apple pickers, they do not have the work ethics, they lack stamina and any sense of responsibility. They will not put in the hours, or learn new skills, and are on the whole averse to taking orders.
There is a large sector of the British workforce which is unemployable. If this were not the case, the need to rely upon immigrant labour would be unnecessary. However, modern technology is moving fast and as seen on Country File, the robots are coming and quite soon Man Power will be replaced by automata.
In my next life I am definitely coming back as a dog. Not any old mutt, but a well pampered pet. My ‘slave’ will have an AGA, a wood burner and take care of me as if I were one of the family!
And of course included in the package would be private health care with a reputable local vet, so when sick or injured I get immediate and efficient attention.
Having experienced the vagaries, inefficiency and chaos of the NHS last week, it is clear is that Jo Public really does get a raw deal compared to pampered pooches.
One cannot fault the individuals who work within the health service, they do their best under difficult circumstances. However, as I and others can see, having spent far too much time waiting for hours, none too patiently, in A & E, they cannot cope with the quantity of patients, as they do not have enough doctors, nurses and technicians. God help the system when there is a major incident.
Until recently it had not occurred to me how Sussex Hospitals Trusts get vital blood, platelets, patient notes, human infant milk or samples transferred between London and local hospitals after hours. One would assume they used costly couriers, or press gang police cars or ambulances for an emergency deliveries. That was until I met SERV Sussex volunteers.
‘Service by Emergency Rider Volunteers’, is a registered local charity, which was set up in 1981. These remarkable volunteers supply a FREE, rapid and reliable means of transporting these products to local hospitals between the hours of 7pm and 6am, seven nights a week, including weekends and national holidays.
SERV Sussex responds to in excess of 700 calls in the county, saving the local hospitals an estimated £100,000 annually. Thus allowing re-deployment of much-needed funds for improved patient care and other essential facilities within the local NHS Trusts.
The volunteer bike riders and drivers work on a rota, and wait to respond to urgent calls relayed via their county controller, who works from home. They generally use their own machines and pay for the petrol themselves. The riders and officers of the charity are all unpaid volunteers.
They do their own fund raising and will often support other organisations such as the police, with escorts and other services. They are a remarkable bunch of people who come from all walks of life, and are dedicated to supporting their community.