Confusion and anger surround prime minister designate Gordon Brown’s much publicised promise to create hundreds of thousands of jobs for British people.
Employers groups have admitted they do not know how the jobs will be allocated, and the Commission for Racial Equality (CRE) has received complaints that the proposals are racist.
Brown boasted to delegates at the GMB union’s annual congress in Brighton last week that he had secured deals with retailers and Olympic bosses.
“I want to ensure that the jobs available in Britain are available for British workers who are looking for jobs,” he said.
The British Retail Consortium said Brown was referring to Local Employment Partnerships, where long-term unemployed people were given help applying for jobs. However, migrant workers can also secure jobs through this scheme.
The Olympic Delivery Authority pointed to its Boost scheme, which allows residents in the five host London boroughs for the Games to receive support to apply for job vacancies. But there is nothing to ensure British passport holders secure jobs via this route.
Civil rights group Liberty & Law has written to the CRE, asking for an investigation into the policy to ensure it was not designed to give British jobseekers privileges over others entitled to work in the UK.