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Companies have a duty to employ British workers , MP claims

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Companies have a duty to employ British workers , MP claims

Post  Panda on Fri 26 Jul - 0:22

Companies have a 'duty' to employ British workers, MP claims
Companies have a “duty” to employ British workers rather than immigrants, a Conservative MP has claimed.

Matthew Hancock says that firms should take responsibility and train local workers Photo: Getty Images
By Hayley Dixon
11:26PM BST 25 Jul 2013


Matthew Hancock, the business and education minister, urges firms not to take the “easy option” of filling vacancies with foreign workers when they could train local people instead.


He insisted that employing British workers would benefit both the company involved and the wider economy.


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The number of vacancies filled by foreign workers has dropped from 74 per cent under Labour to 35 per cent after the Coalition’s immigration crackdown, but Mr Hancock says that there is still more to be done.


“As vacancies rise and unemployment falls further, it is the duty of companies, especially big business, to take on local young people – not immediately take the option of recruiting from abroad,” Mr Hancock told the Daily Mail.


Britain is the biggest magnet for migrant workers across Europe, and there are fears that there could be an influx of people searching for work from Romania and Bulgaria when restrictions are lifted later this year.


Mr Hancock, whose comments are likely to cause controversy, rejected claims by the Office of Budget Responsibility that 60,000 foreign workers are needed annually to keep national debt at sustainable levels.


We have a record number of jobs, but we need to ensure that Britons get a chance to fill the posts, he said.


“It is sometimes harder to take on a young unemployed local person but, in the long term, it’s better for the business and it’s better for the whole economy,” he said.


If you employ someone through an apprenticeship or a traineeship, he argued, they have an attachment to the company which has given them a chance and therefore “higher morale” throughout the workforce who know their bosses are “doing right by the local community”.


The MP, a close ally of George Osborne, said he understood why so many companies had chosen to employ immigrants, but businesses need to “take their responsibility” to help build a strong, long-term economy.


He said business leaders often agreed that people were coming out of education without the requisite skills, and the Government was reforming education and welfare and supporting training programmes to combat the problem.


But currently only seven per cent have an apprentice and they needed to play their part so young people could get experience.


“It would be wrong for companies without an apprenticeships scheme to recruit from overseas without looking at what they can do to take on local people,” he said.

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