Green urges business away from immigrant employees

06 Mar 2012 | Posted by Carl Thomas

The current government has often been criticised for sending out the message that Britain is 'closed for business'. High corporation tax, the continuation of the 50 per cent income tax bracket and, of course, a tight leash on UK work permits and visas have all contributed to this image.

While the truth behind the suggestions that such policies will damage the country's economic growth remains to be seen, it appears that UK immigration minister Damian Green is doing little to dispel the rumours.

In fact, Mr Green has gone so far as to tell the Financial Times that the country needs to be "weaned off an addiction" to using immigrant labour. He called for businesses to take a new approach to employment and find British workers for openings, even if they require extra training.

"If you have skills and talents that Britain needs, then absolutely, we welcome you with open arms. If you haven't, then we don't," Mr Green added in reference to people applying for UK work permits.

Such a change in recruitment is unlilkely to be desireable to many businesses that are simply unable to afford the financial and time pressures involved in training staff in completely new disciplines, especially when a foreign employee with a UK work permit could already be fully capable of doing the job.

Business groups have largely responded in a negative fashion to the government's rhetoric on immigration, stating that the changes will simply drive away the skilled workers the country needs to get its economy back on its feet.