Damian Green: Britain Is 'Addicted' To Hiring Immigrant Workers
British firms need to be weaned off their addiction to hiring migrant workers, the Immigration Minister said on Tuesday.
Damian Green said some industries may have to train more British workers and that change may take time, but added: "It's good for you to be weaned off an addiction and it will be good for business in the long run."
His comments come as the Government faces net migration figures of 250,000 after it has pledged to bring the numbers down to the tens of thousands, levels last seen in the 1990s, by 2015.
In an interview with the Financial Times, Mr Green said the economy was "addicted to immigration".
He said: "Like all addictions, it takes some time to wean people off, but it's good for you to be weaned off an addiction and it will be good for business in the long run if we have more of an instinct that's 'Let's find a British worker and, if necessary, let's train a British worker'."
The Government has brought in a series of reforms to bring down net migration, the number of people arriving in the UK and staying for more than a year, less the number leaving.
Mr Green said his message for migrant workers was: "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."