The Day the Immigrants Left (1×60′) – Evan Davis, former BBC Economics editor and presenter of BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, fronts a documentary exploring the effects of immigration – one of the most hotly debated issues in Britain today – on one Cambridgeshire town.
Since 2004, the once prosperous market town of Wisbech, near Peterborough, has received up to 9,000 immigrants seeking work – the majority from Central and Eastern Europe. And they’ve found work, taking up jobs in the fields, the factories and all over town.
The town has a major problem with British unemployment, with nearly 2,000 locals claiming benefits. Many blame the migrants for their predicament – but is there any truth to these claims?
The Day The Immigrants Left explores what happens when some of the immigrant employees are temporarily removed from their jobs and the work given to the local unemployed. Now the town’s British workers have a chance to prove they have what it takes.
Eleven British unemployed workers are recruited to go into a range of different Wisbech workplaces, including one of the UK’s largest potato companies, an asparagus farm, a building site run by a local landlord and an Indian restaurant.
Moving beyond the workplace, Evan investigates how the town’s local public services, such as schools, are coping with the demands of the new arrivals – at the local infant school foreign pupils speak eight different languages and make up nearly a third of the whole school.
As the British unemployed workers get to grips with their new jobs, this documentary goes behind the headlines to examine the facts and dispel the myths around the subject of immigration.
Producer: Leopard Films
TX: 24th February 2010
Source: BBC Press Office