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The owner of a removal company has blamed his struggles to recruit staff on the “vast majority” of Brits being uninterested in hard manual labour. Washington Carrato has only employed three British in more than 20 years of doing removals and revealed that they all left within a week. The 42-year-old – who owns removal firm TheManVan – said this didn’t matter before Brexit as it was much easier to recruit workers from abroad.
But now he says it’s a struggle to get staff – even if he hikes how much he pays them.
He said: “There are a lot of people who come and knock on the door but they don’t want to do the job because they don’t like hard work. It’s not rocket science but you need a certain type of person. Packing and unpacking a whole house, especially if it’s up three flights of stairs, is physically demanding.
“Doing that for 12 hours a day, six days a week takes its toll – physically and mentally. In all the years I’ve been doing this I’ve employed three British people.
“I had an English guy start with me and we were halfway through a job and he said ‘I’ve got to go and make a phone call’ and he just left.
“He’d been with us for four or five days and we were doing a removal up three flights of stairs. The guy who owned the property was a DJ and he had all this heavy equipment that needed moving. I don’t think he fancied it. It was just before payday and I kept ringing him afterwards telling him to come and get his money.
“He never got back – I think he was too embarrassed. Then we had another English guy who was carrying a desk down a flight of stairs, and it fell on him.
“He said to me afterwards that it wasn’t for him which I understood and there were no hard feelings. I think the problem is the vast majority of British people don’t want to do hard manual labour.
“Whether that’s because they can get a better-paying job, think they’ve above it or would rather do something else depends on them I suppose.
“But the industry is suffering at the moment because we can’t get staff.
“We’ll be getting a lot busier in the summer and unless something is done we won’t come anywhere close to satisfying the demand.”
Mr Carrato believes the government should relax immigration rules to allow more workers to come into the country to help cope with the estimated one million job vacancies.
In yesterday’s budget, chancellor Jeremy Hunt relaxed rules to help the construction industry with bricklayers, roofers and carpenters being allowed to come more easily.
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Mr Carrato – who grew up in Brazil and came to the UK in 2000 – believes this should be widened to van drivers.
“Every sector is suffering and something needs to be done because it has a knock-on effect,” he explained.
“You might only need a driving licence to drive a van but until computers can do that and pack and unload someone’s house then we are always going to need people.
“They don’t just come out of thin air which is why the government must realise this and do something about it quickly.”
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