Home secretary Amber Rudd has hit out at UK businesses saying they must do more to employ British workers and must stop relying on European staff.
Rudd said in an interview on the BBC show, Pienaars’s Politics: “I did hear that Pret A Manger had come out and said ‘it’s absolutely essential for us to have European workers because if we don’t, we are going to have to make more of an effort to recruit in the U.K.’ Well, good.”
“We will be trying to push them as well to do more in the U.K them and all other businesses, so that we make sure we look after people who are otherwise unemployed.”
However, in March this year Andrea Wareham, Pret A Manger’s HR chief told a government committee that British people do not want to work at the chain. Only one in 50 job applicants to the hugely popular sandwich chain is British.
Wareham said that Pret’s staff come from 110 different nationalities, and that 65 per cent of those workers are from outside the UK who are EU citizens.
Wareham told the House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee in March: “I would say that one in 50 people that apply to our company to work is British.”
“If I had to fill all our vacancies in British-only applicants I would not be able to fill them… because of a lack of applications.”
“I actually don’t think increasing pay would do the trick, I can only talk for Pret on this, but we do pay well above the National Living Wage, we do have great benefits and we offer fantastic careers.”
“It really is a case of do people want to work in our industry?”
“We are not seen always as a desirable place to work and I think that’s the trick.”