PROMOTION OF BRITISH JOB VACANCIES IN HIGH UNEMPLOYMENT EUROPEAN COUNTRIES
EU to step up promotion of British job vacancies in high unemployment European countries and will force UK to highlight rights of citizens from other member states to work without discrimination
The European Commission has been accused of promoting a "race to the bottom" by encouraging "eurozone refugees" to flee mainland Europe to benefit from lower unemployment and higher economic growth rates in Britain.
Laszlo Andor, Europe''s social affairs commissioner, has unveiled new plans to extend the Eures scheme that advertises British job centre vacancies, along with those from other countries, across the whole of the European Union.
He admitted that high unemployment rates in the eurozone, currently running at record highs of over 12 per cent, would lead to increased numbers of jobless seeking work in higher growth countries, such as Britain, with a joblessness rate of only 7.4pc.
"With unacceptably high levels of unemployment in the EU, more people are looking at this possibility," he said.
"The unemployment rate in the UK is significantly lower than the EU average. This is a very significant development. We have to assume that people will be more interested than in the past to look for a job in an EU country if the vacancies exist."
Mr Andor also said that he expected agreement on new legislation requiring Britain, and other EU countries, "to take measures to raise awareness about the right for people from other member States to work without facing any discrimination" in the coming weeks.
"Member states would also be obliged to put in place ways for people to obtain redress if they did encounter discrimination," he said.
British economic growth is expected to be twice that of the eurozone average this year meaning that many more job vacancies will be created in Britain than most other EU countries.
The Eures "job mobility portal" is currently advertising 484,149 British vacancies, offering 1.2 million posts, to EU jobseekers, more than any other country.
In comparison, Germany, the eurozone''s largest economy is offering just 308,174 vacancies, while Spain has only 1,626 jobs on offer.
In 2012, 190,000 Spaniards left their country - over 10 times more than the 15,000 who left the year before - to flee an unemployment rate that was running at 58 per cent for young people at the start of this year.
"We are seeing a huge movement of people who are eurozone refugees from the job destroying single currency area and who are seeking work elsewhere," said Douglas Carswell, the Conservative MP for Clacton.
On Friday, Mr Andor announced new measures that will extend the Eures scheme "by publishing vacancies that until now have only been available at local or regional level" across the EU.
The Eures network of 850 job advisers helps with 150,000 placements every year. Its budget is £16.5 million, with a contribution by British taxpayers of around £2.5 million.
Paul Nuttall, the deputy leader of Ukip, accused the commission of giving "a slap in the face" to unemployed Britons who would be undercut by jobseekers from "countries whose people work for one fifth of the average wage in the UK".
"I have little doubt this will help lead to a race to the bottom in wages and conditions for lower-skilled workers and many of them will curse the European Commission for this latest measure," he said.
Mr Andor dismissed the criticism, stressing that the Eures service to place European workers in jobs was popular with British employers, generating benefits for Britain in terms of economic growth and increased tax revenue for the Government.
"The UK usually puts more vacancies on Eures than other member states," he said. "The UK is a beneficiary of workforce mobility, both the economy and welfare system benefit from it."
A Department for Work and Pensions spokesperson said: "All EU countries are already obliged to share their job vacancies on EURES and this has been happening for nearly two decades.
"In the UK our advisers focus their attention on helping British jobseekers who want to travel abroad to work, as well as discouraging applications from outside the UK to sectors where there is already a lot of competition for jobs."
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