Minister admits Brown's skills bid open to all
By Stephen Adams
Gordon Brown's pledge of “British jobs for British workers” appeared to be unravelling after a minister admitted that new training places intended to help the home-grown workforce will go to foreigners.
John Denham, the Skills Secretary, indicated that foreign workers would be eligible for schemes that had been publicised as a way to ensure British workers could compete better against immigrants.
Some of the seven and a half million training places – announced last Friday – would go to foreign nationals, Mr Denham conceded.
He told Sky News: “British workers will take up the majority of these training places and will be better equipped to get the jobs that they lose out on, not because of discrimination, but because they don't have the skills to compete.”
John Hayes, the Conservative shadow skills secretary, said the real-life situation was “entirely at odds with Gordon Brown's assertion”. He said: “This is a range of training posts for a variety of nationalities that happen to be in Britain at the time.”
Mr Denham's admission came after the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills confirmed that many training places would be equally open to foreigners.
European Union citizens are entitled to take up Modern Apprenticeships, courses at further education colleges and a range of skills-based courses.
Asylum seekers and those granted leave to remain are also able to take up Entry to Employment courses.
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