David Miliband rejects immigration and unemployment link

06 Feb 2012 | Posted by Carl Thomas

David Miliband, brother of the Labour leader Ed Miliband, has rejected the suggestion that increased numbers of UK work permits and high UK immigration levels have contributed to youth unemployment.

Speaking to BBC Breakfast, the former leadership candidate urged young people to help each other through schemes such as mentorship programmes organised by those already in the work place, while rejecting claims that UK immigration was to blame for the record levels of youth unemployment in the country.

"We have looked at the allegation it was benefit rates that was causing unemployment, that it was the minimum wage, or that it was migration, and what we found was that some of the areas with the highest young unemployment had the lowest levels of migration from outside the UK,” he stated.

Mr Miliband added that the independent economic statistics “just didn't stack up” when it came to the idea that immigration is fuelling youth unemployment.

The comments are in stark contrast to government claims that Britain should only welcome the best and the brightest of immigrants. There are plans in place to achieve this by restricting shortage positions on the UK work permit lists and by imposing a minimum salary before permitting workers from outside of the EU to enter.