Ministers are considering implementing restrictions
on migrant workers to ensure there are jobs available for UK
graduates, it has emerged.
The move is in response to concerns that this year's graduates will
bear the brunt of the economic downturn when they enter the jobs
Immigration minister Phil Woolas said the government was
considering tightening the points-based immigration system which
applies to skilled migrant workers from outside the European
The development comes amid rows about the employment of Italian and
Portuguese contractors at the Lindsey oil refinery in North
Lincolnshire, to the exclusion of UK workers.
Mr Woolas told the Independent: "The points-based system that has
been introduced allows us to toughen the criteria, and clearly in
the economic situation that is something it is beholden on us to
Elsewhere, it was recently reported that graduates and small
businesses are to receive £50 million to share for rapid retraining
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