Miliband: Low-Skill Immigration Is Too High
Ed Miliband will today admit that Britain has to slash the number of low-skilled migrants coming to the UK to work.
The Labour leader, unveiling what he claims is a "new approach" to immigration, will say Britons must get a "fair crack of the whip" when competing for jobs.
In a party political broadcast, Mr Miliband will admit Labour mishandled immigration while in power and should not have ignored the public's concerns.
It is not the first time the leader has conceded the previous government was wrong to relax controls - a move that allowed hundreds of thousands of foreigners to move to the UK.
But it comes after the issue was thrust to the forefront by the Eastleigh by-election, which saw eurosceptic party UKIP surge to second place.
Mr Miliband will insist that diversity is "good for Britain" but will say that migration needs to work for all of the country's people, not just some.
Reducing the number of low-skilled migrants coming to the UK will be part of Labour's "new approach" to the issue, he will claim.
The broadcast, being shown on television in England this evening, comes ahead of a major speech by shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper on Thursday when she is due to set out a raft of new policies.
Measures could include tougher enforcement of the minimum wage and tighter controls on employment agencies to stop foreign workers coming in to undercut British staff.
"Gangmasters" employing illegal migrants in social care, hospitality and construction could be targeted, and a ban placed on putting workers in over-crowded accommodation.
Ms Cooper is also expected to detail proposed reforms of the immigration system and action to improve the training of UK workers so they can fill jobs in shortage occupations.
Aides claim Labour has a "long thought-through approach", in comparison to "kite-flying" by the Government which is grappling with how to curb migration from Bulgaria and Romania when temporary restrictions are lifted in December.
In his broadcast, Mr Miliband will say: "Britain's diversity is a source of our great strength. It makes us a more successful country.
"But people can lose out if migration isn't properly managed. The pace of change can be too fast or people can see their wages undercut. Low-skill migration has been too high and we need to bring it down.
"That means the maximum transitional controls for new countries coming in from eastern Europe. It means properly enforcing the minimum wage so people aren't brought here to undercut workers already here.
"And it means let's give proper training to workers already here so that they have a fighting chance of filling the vacancies that exist.
"There's nothing wrong in employing people from abroad, but the rules need to be fair so that local people get a fair crack of the whip."
Mr Miliband will promise a boost to English language teaching to new migrants, along with an English-speaking requirement for all state employees working face-to-face with the public.
The broadcast comes after Iain Duncan Smith, the Work and Pensions Secretary, warned on Tuesday that the country is facing crisis over migrants moving here and claiming benefits.