Firms have a 'social duty' to hire British workers, says Conservative minister Matthew Hancock
Andrew Grice has been Political Editor of The Independent since 1998. He was previously Political Editor of The Sunday Times, where he worked for 10 years, and he has been a Westminster-based journalist since 1982. His column, Inside Politics, appears in The Independent each Saturday.
Friday 26 July 2013
Companies have a "social duty" to employ young British workers rather than better-qualified immigrants, a Conservative minister said today.
Matthew Hancock, a Business Minister, said employers have a responsibility to ensure young people in their local community are given the opportunity to get a job and get on in life. He said firms should invest in training British staff rather than simply seeking "pure profit".
Mr Hancock, a close ally of the Chancellor George Osborne, denied he was repeating Gordon Brown's ill-fated "British jobs for British workers" slogan. "This is about a change of culture. I'm arguing that it is companies' social responsibility, it is their social duty, to look at employing locally first," he told BBC Radio 4. "That may mean that they have to do more training. It may mean more training in hard skills, in specific skills. Or it may mean training in the wherewithal, the character you need in order to hold down a job."
He said many employers had told him that such an investment led to more motivated employees with a greater attachment to the company.
Mr Hancock added: "During the last boom there was a lot of recruitment from abroad and, in fact, youth unemployment went up, even during the boom. As the amount of jobs in the economy grows everybody should be given the chance to get on in life and get one."
His comments comes amid fears among Conservative MPs about a new influx of workers from Romania and Bulgaria when they get the right to work in Britain from next January.
Nigel Farage, leader of the UK Independence Party, dismissed the minister's intervention as "totally, utterly meaningless rubbish". He said: "He is not allowed to put the interests of British workers first because we are members of the European Union and 800,000 British jobs are today being advertised across the whole of the rest of the EU."
Mr Farage added: "They [the Conservatives] know they have lost the argument on immigration and jobs, they know Ukip have stolen a march on them, they are attempting through rhetoric to take that territory back. They are raising expectations, but when people realise that actually they cannot deliver, then I think a lot of people will feel very angry indeed."
Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes
- 1 Game of Thrones author George RR Martin says 'f*** you' to fans who fear he will die before finishing Westeros saga
- 2 Loom bands: Bids for dress made from colourful rubber pass £170,000 on eBay
- 3 Why I'm on the brink of burning my Israeli passport
- 4 L'Oreal cuts ties with Belgium supporter Axelle Despiegelaere after hunting trip photographs
- 5 The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week
Sustained immigration has not harmed Britons' employment, say government advisers
War is war: Why I stand with Israel
7/7 memorial defaced on anniversary of 2005 attacks with ‘Blair lied thousands died’ graffiti
Australia facing international condemnation after turning around Sri Lankans at sea
Even when it brutalises one of its own teenage citizens, America is helpless against Israel
Socialist Worker called to apologise over ‘vile’ article saying Eton schoolboy Horatio Chapple's death is ‘reason to save the polar bears’
£70000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Information Security Manager (ISO 27001, A...
£30000 - £45000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Developer (...
£60000 - £80000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Integration...
£75000 - £85000 per annum + ex bens: Deerfoot IT Resources Limited: Biztalk Te...