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Last updateTue, 17 Mar 2015 2pm

Firms that employ non-EU workers will be required to hire British apprentices - Labour

Companies that hire workers from outside the European Union should be forced to take on British apprentices, Labour leader Ed Miliband announced on Sunday.

All firms with more than 50 employees would be hit by the new rules to stop them brining in cheap labour from overseas instead of training jobless Brits.

The announcement was one of a number made by Mr Miliband as the Labour conference began in Brighton.

Large companies will have to train a British apprentice for every worker they hire from outside the European Union in a plan that Labour hopes will create 125,000 apprenticeships over five years.

Shadow business secretary Chuka Umunna said it was proof Labour have learnt from their mistakes on immigration.

Mr Umunna admitted that while in government Labour were sometimes worried that dealing with immigration involved issues of race.

He said it was important that companies train British people in the skills firms need.

Mr Umunna told the Daily Mail: ‘I think we acknowledge that we didn't get everything right in government in respect of immigration.

‘To start with we were too afraid of talking about it because sometimes people were worried that that involved issues of race.

‘But I don't think it is racist to worry about how immigration impacts on our economy and the opportunities for our young people and what you've seen today is the Labour Party showing that we've listened, we've learned from some of our mistakes and we're determined to ensure that we've got an economy that works for working families.’

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