Farage meets hard-working Hungarian at Clacton factory

Ukip leader Nigel Farage visiting hinge manufacturer NICO in Clacton, Essex.

Ukip leader Nigel Farage defended his stance on immigration after meeting a low-skilled Eastern European worker during a factory tour.

Mr Farage was visiting hinge manufacturer NICO in Clacton, Essex, as he spoke of the need to boost manufacturing and improve skills among British workers.

During a tour of one of the factory's workshops, he met Hungarian Ivan Concsarevity, 62, who has lived in Colchester for five years after travelling to the UK for work.

Mr Concsarevity could not answer questions as he does not speak any English but was described by colleagues as "relatively low-skilled".

The firm's manufacturing manager Steve Dalton confirmed that the company needed to look to Eastern Europe to fill a skills gap and on occasion had flown potential employees from Poland.

Asked about the encounter and whether Mr Concsarevity should be working in the UK, Mr Farage said: "Ukip has never said anyone should leave the country, so the question is entirely baseless.

"One of the big problems that we've got in engineering is a real shortage ofyoung people studying engineering to go into trades such as this, which isregrettable.

"We've got rid of technical colleges and encouraged more and more young people to go to university and study degrees which are not directly linked to industry such as this.

"If there's no British person trained to do that job, then that says moreabout us than them."

Mr Dalton said he was not a Ukip supporter but did not oppose the party'sproposal of an Australian-style points system designed to limit the number of immigrants.

He said: "There needs to be some controls but presumably, if we needed to fill a skills gap, we would still be able to do that under such a system."

The company employs 130 people, six of whom are migrants from Eastern Europe.

Finance director Gillian Hagger said: "A lot of industries in the UK do needmigrant workers.

"The area we're in means we've got a large pool to recruit from but sometimes we find their skills are limited.

"On those occasions we have had to look further afield, including flyinginterviewees in from Poland."

Click below to watch Political Correspondent Emma Hutchinson speaking to Nigel Farage about his party's prospects in the Anglia region: