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Bill "for British workers" proposed

An attempt to make sure that major public works employ only British workers has been launched by a Labour MP in the Commons.

John Mann, who represents Bassetlaw, said his Bill spells out what Gordon Brown’s “British jobs for British workers” slogan should mean in practice.

The Major Capital Contracts (Skills and Training Requirements) Bill is an attempt to force building companies to use local job centres to advertise all jobs for public contracts valued at £50 million and above.

Companies would also be forced to provide apprenticeship places for British workers.

It is “self-defeating, economically” to allow big public works contracts to be given to foreign companies, which usually bring their own workers, Mr Mann claimed.

British workers “of all colours and creeds, living in this country, paying taxes in this country, should have the ability to do this work”, he said.

Last year workers at Lindsey oil refinery and Staythorpe power station went on strike against companies using cheaper foreign labour.

Mr Mann’s Bill was unopposed at the first reading stage but cannot become law anyway because not enough parliamentary time remains.