Controversial proposals to force businesses to list foreign workers causes backlash

Pro-European Union supporters and pro-Brexit supporters hold up placards during a demonstration.

Theresa May’s government has unveiled controversial plans to make companies reveal how many foreign workers they employ in a bid to boost jobs for British people after Brexit.

The proposals, announced by Home Secretary Amber Rudd, means firms could be forced to list their percentage of non-British workers in order to prevent migrants taking jobs [that] British people can do.

Rudd said businesses were “getting away” with not training enough British workers. Under current rules, companies have to advertise vacancies in the UK for 28 days before looking outside the EU.

Her speech at the Conservative conference caused a backlash on Twitter.

The Acting Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) Adam Marshall said the plans suggested the government believed having a global workforce was “a badge of shame.”

However, the Home Secretary defended her plan to make firms do more to hire British people.

“We should be able to have a conversation about the skills we need and where we need to go out of the UK to recruit them in order to help businesses and boost the economy,” she told BBC’s Radio 4 Today.

“And I don’t think we should have a situation where we can’t talk about immigration. We must not ignore the fact that people want to talk about immigration and if we do talk about immigration don’t call me a racist.”

Rudd said the idea of “naming and shaming” companies which did not publish a list of the nationality of their workforce was just “one of the tools” under review “as a way of nudging people into better behaviour.”

“[That’s] not something we are definitely going to do,” she said.

“There is still one in ten 18-24 year olds in the UK who are unemployed,” she added. “I want businesses to think first about locally training people where possible… and work with us to deliver what we need to have which is a more skilled local labour force.”

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