Lee Anderson Column: We are now seeing a sense of real optimism in our country

My dad always used to say – and still does – that when he left school in the 1950s you could leave a job on Monday and start another on Tuesday.

Wednesday, 6th October 2021, 4:00 pm

During the 1980s, many of us felt our parents’ generation had it much better when it came to finding work.

We were right – lots of my mates ended up on a YTS placement on £25 a week. I was one of the lucky ones as I ended up down the pit.

Forty years later and we find ourselves in a position where employers are crying out for workers as they cannot fill vacancies they have on offer.

Lee Anderson, Ashfield MP.

During the Brexit campaign, we were continually told by the media, politicians, and the CBI that Brexit could cost a million jobs and plunge us into poverty: how wrong they were.

So, when people say to me Brexit has contributed to a labour shortage then I agree with them.

Wages are up, businesses are offering signing on bonuses and we are back to a situation where employees can shop around for jobs.

Businesses will always adapt and overcome, just like they have through the pandemic, but I want to see higher wages, less benefit dependency, and real opportunities for everyone in this great country .

Wages are up, businesses are offering signing on bonuses and we are back to a situation where employees can shop around for jobs, says Lee Anderson.

I want to see people able to forge a decent career where they can support themselves and their families and not have their wages undercut by cheap foreign labour.

A real chance in life is what the working classes have always wanted, a job that pays well and a chance for their kids to do a bit better in life than they have.

That’s what we call progress but again last week I was attacked on social media for having the audacity to suggest able-bodied people should go to work. Imagine that?

For clarity, I remember my dad’s alarm going off every morning at 5am, a quick cuppa and slice of toast then he was off to the pit.

He wasn’t tired after a night on the XBox or talking to mates online.

He was shattered after a gruelling day, but still got up every morning to pay the rent and put food on the table. When he got home, he would spend an hour or two on his vegetable plot.

As I write this, I am getting ready to drive to Manchester to attend the Conservative Party Conference. I hope the event will show the country that we are a united party working in the best interests of the UK. I think we are.

Now we are seeing a sense of real optimism in our country. That makes me feel proud.