Monday, 20 February 2012
The employment minister, Chris Grayling, has said that British businesses need to give British job seekers priority in the recruitment process, to ensure they are not pushed out of the job pipeline by European immigrants.
Speaking on the Murnaghan programme on Sky News, Grayling said that young people suffering the most in modern recruitment, finding themselves struggling to get hired, in favour of older, more qualified workers from elsewhere in the EU.
“They come out of school or college, they don’t have previous experience, they may be up against someone who has come to the UK from Eastern Europe, who is five or six years older, who has got work experience already and are quite an attractive recruitment option for the employer,” he said.
“It is my hope that every employer in the UK, in deciding if they are going to recruit in the next few months, will put young UK unemployed people at the top of their priority list.”
His call goes against the EU employment legislation, which states that it is illegal for British employers to discriminate against candidates from elsewhere in the EU. Grayling said, however, that as overall unemployment has risen in recent years, the number of foreign nationals with jobs in the UK has risen.
Unemployment in the UK is around 2.67 million – with more than 1 million of them under 25 – while official figures for the last quarter of 2011 showed that the number of non-UK nationals in employment in the UK had risen by 166,000 from a year earlier, to 2.58 million.