Firms have a 'social duty' to hire British workers, says Conservative minister Matthew Hancock

 

Andrew Grice
Friday 26 July 2013 18:57
Comments
UK companies have a duty to hire Britons, says Matthew Hancock
UK companies have a duty to hire Britons, says Matthew Hancock

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."

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in