The recruitment industry has moved swiftly to counter statements made by the Labour leader Ed Miliband at his keynote speech to the Labour party conference in Brighton yesterday, with REC chief executive Kevin Green criticising his remarks as misleading.

Mr Green was reacting to Mr Miliband’s assertion that some UK recruiters were exclusively recruiting overseas workers to the detriment of home-grown talent. This, Mr Green insisted, was unfounded. He said: “This is the third time we have heard him say this about our sector and it is simply not true. We have asked for the evidence and nothing has been produced. Rather than engaging in name-calling politics, Labour should be building relationships with key business sectors, especially one that focuses on getting people into work.”

The fact is that it was on occasion necessary to recruit talent from further afield in Europe in order to meet employers’ needs, Mr Green continued. This was not discrimination, he insisted, but merely the effect of a shortage of suitably-qualified and experienced candidates in the UK.

Mr Green added: “Employers and the recruiters that help them have to look to the EU and beyond to source the skills they so desperately need. Politicians should do more to support UK businesses who are keen to hire staff rather than adding further red tape.”

Mr Green called on Mr Miliband to “focus less on demonising the recruitment industry” in favour of training and investing in young people.

Many highly skilled Umbrella Company Employees based in the UK can testify that their talents are very much in demand, although they would also concede that they cannot numerically plug all skills shortages for all employers.

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