British plans to ban overseas job ads may hit Indian jobseekers

January 19th, 2009 - 8:00 pm ICT by IANS  

Gordon BrownLondon, Jan 19 (IANS) British employers are to be banned from advertising their jobs outside Europe in a step aimed at preserving jobs for British workers.The ban, which can be pushed through without parliamentary approval, is aimed at safeguarding jobs for Britons during the current economic downturn.

If enforced, the move may hit Indian skilled migrants in a variety of sectors. Many skilled Indian workers are already being kept out by a points based system that has introduced tight new conditions for non-Europeans to migrate to Britain for employment.

While half a million jobs are currently waiting to be filled, figures set to be published this week are expected to show joblessness in Britain has touched the two million figure.

Home Minister Jacqui Smith said Sunday: “At a time when people are worried about losing their jobs, and therefore worried about being able to get quickly back into another job, it’s even more important that we can say and show that when jobs become available, it’s British people who get the first crack of the whip of taking those jobs.

“We need to be very sure that a job is being actively marketed for a worker who is already here and who needs that job before we assume that migration is the only way we can fill those skill shortages.”

The British home ministry says 80,000 British jobs were advertised to workers from outside the European Union last year.

Ministers believe that the ban on ads will curb the number of migrants coming to Britain, because migrants will be unable to obtain a work visa from the UK Border Agency without having a specific job offer, The Times reported Monday.

This is said to be the first significant step towards fulfilling Gordon Brown’s controversial promise - made after becoming Prime Minister in 2007 - to keep “British jobs for British workers”.

Although employers are obliged to advertise jobs for up to two weeks in Britain before looking overseas, some employers advertise jobs in obscure trade journals or in newsagents’ windows, which are seen by very few Britons.

The change, which can be made without parliamentary approval under provisions in the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act, will force these jobs to appear at local job centres, The Times reported.

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