UNEMPLOYED youngsters should be trained as builders and EU immigration should be curbed to tackle Britain’s housing shortage, says a senior Labour MP.
Frank Field called for a housebuilding programme using home-grown workers rather than imported labour.
As well as giving trainees a trade, he argued in a report by the Civitas think-tank out today that increasing the supply of homes would also cut the Housing Benefit bill by relieving the demand that has put up rents at a time of depressed wages.
The former welfare minister, who chairs the Common’s Work and Pensions Select Committee, and the report’s co-author Andrew Forsey, who heads the MP’s Parliamentary office, said: “We propose skills academies to provide the necessary numbers of bricklayers and other construction workers to sustain a programme so that more houses are built without the need to import skilled building workers from abroad, while at the same time offering skills and jobs to some young people stranded on the welfare rolls.”
A Ukip spokesman said: “We import cheap foreign labour and subsidise their minimum wage jobs with in-work benefits like tax credits and housing benefit.
“Big business is using the British taxpayer to subsidise their salary bill.”