BBC News criticised after saying care workers and bus drivers have 'lower skilled jobs'

Greg Evans
Tuesday 12 May 2020 08:00
news

BBC News and Fiona Bruce have received a backlash after using the term "lower skilled" to describe workers who are likely to be most affected by coronavirus.

In a Monday evening segment on BBC News about the mortality rate from the virus, Bruce said:

People in lower-skilled jobs such as security guards, care workers and bus drivers are amongst those most likely to die from coronavirus according to new data.

Although the story was in no doubt designed to warn people who might be heading back to work, the use of the phrase "lower-skilled" angered many who saw it claiming that type of terminology is demeaning to those otherwise valued jobs.

Formerly parliamentary candidate Faiza Shaheen criticised the phrasing, asking "have we learnt nothing from Covid-19?"

The Brexit campaigner Suzanne Evans did attempt to defend Bruce by pointing out that she was most likely reading from a autocue.

The term "low skilled" has been widely debated in the last few months following the Home Office publishing new guidelines on immigration before the coronavirus crisis. Workers who were lower paid were automatically assumed to be "low skilled", which people didn't agree with. Many of the people working these jobs, from care workers to supermarket workers, are now keeping Britain going in this difficult time.

BBC News has been contacted for comment.

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