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Better training is the key to increasing employment for British workers on Wed 14th August, 2013

Shadow immigration minister Chris Bryant has urged companies this week to employ more British workers but according to an employer in the building sector migrant workers arrive in the UK better qualified than British workers.

“Mr Bryant was castigating employers for exploiting people from poorer countries but the crux of the problem is that British workers – particularly young workers - cannot compete with many European migrants,” said Will Davies the co-founder of property maintenance and refurbishment company

“At the moment, if an eastern European is interviewed for a job and he has completed a full trade apprenticeship abroad, as many of them have, they are a more attractive prospect to employers,” he said.

Speaking to the Public Policy Research (IPPR) think tank this week Mr Bryant singled the construction industry saying that they had ‘consistently high levels of recruitment from abroad and far too low levels of training for local young people.’

Will Davies is a long-time campaigner for improved trade apprenticeships throughout Britain and has recently made a submission to the Parliamentary Inquiry into ‘Construction and Youth Employment’.

“It is essential that employers are granted the power to design apprenticeships for young people. Employers know the skills they require and therefore they know the skills that are employable,” said Mr Davies

“Generations of employment schemes have failed young workers. Civil servants and outside training agencies (although undoubtedly well meaning) have failed to produce youngsters with employable skills.

“Employers like have campaigned for years to be given access to the apprenticeship purse strings. It is all very well for Mr Bryant to call for government to work with companies to employ more ‘local’ workers but first we have to equip them with employable skills,” said Mr Davies.

Since 2004 about one million Eastern Europeans have moved to the UK under European Union freedom of movement rules. Restrictions on migrants from Romania and Bulgaria will be lifted next year.

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John Price, Hillgrove PR.

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