Unemployed migrants are being given thousands of pounds to find work in Britain under an EU scheme, The Telegraph can disclose.
It has emerged that the UK has taken a third of the young migrants involved in the “Your First EURES Job” programme.
Some 1,178 unemployed young people from the Continent have been found jobs, training or apprenticeships in Britain under the “jobs mobility” programme since it was set up in 2012.
That accounted for 34.7 per cent of the 3,387 jobs handed out so far, much higher than second place Germany, which has provided 659 placements. At the same time, just 25 Britons under 30 have found work under the scheme, less than 1 per cent of the total.
The scheme offers up to €5,000 (£3,500) in relocation expenses and course fees per participant. The average cost per head of the scheme was €1,818, according to official figures.
A report into the scheme acknowledged that it was moving people from economies of high unemployment to Britain.
“The high number of placements in the UK could be due to the dynamics of the UK labour market,” it said. “A high share of outgoing job finders in certain countries (Italy and Spain) mirrors the situation of the EU labour market, as these countries have high youth unemployment rates.
“Similarly to previous quarters, the UK remains the main country of destination.”
EU sources said British public bodies did not take part in the scheme, meaning there was a low uptake among the unemployed in this country.
Philip Hammond, the Foreign Secretary, claimed that the Government “has a grip” on the migration crisis in Calais. Downing Street defended David Cameron, who is on holiday within the UK, saying that he was due back at his desk on Thursday.
Mr Hammond said 100 additional guards would be on duty at the terminal in Calais while UK Border Force officials were due to start working inside theEurotunnel control room Monday night. “I think we have got a grip on the crisis. We saw a peak last week, since when the number of illegal migrants has tailed off,” he said.
“We have taken a number of measures in collaboration with the French authorities and Eurotunnel which are already having an effect and over the next day or two I would expect to have an even greater effect.”
The EU work scheme contains a generous programme of grants and reimbursements to encourage people to move.
They include travel allowances of up to €350 for distances of more than 500 miles, plus subsistence funds of up to €50 a day while undergoing interviews.
Participants can also claim up to €1,060 in relocation expenses to move to the UK, €1,270 for language training and €1,000 to have their qualifications recognised in a new country.
Jobseekers with special “socio-economic” or “geographical” needs can claim a further €500 in reimbursements.
British businesses that employ people through the scheme can claim up to €1,060 in training and language allowances. In total, it means a single jobseeker could, in theory, cost the taxpayer more than €5,000 in handouts.
Jane Collins, the Ukip MEP who uncovered the figures, said the scheme was a poor deal for Britain. “It is a slap in the face to the young people all over the UK who are looking for work and whose taxes have been spent making their chances of employment less likely.”
Britain is facing increasing pressure from Brussels to take more immigrants and show “solidarity” with the rest of the EU.
Mina Andreeva, a European Commission spokesman, said the Calais crisis underlines why all EU member states should take part in a scheme that sought to resettle 40,000 migrants across the continent to ease the pressure on Italy and Greece. Britain has so far opted out of the scheme.
Phil Woolas, a Labour immigration minister between 2008 and 2010, said the “mess” in Calais was “down to years of soft-minded liberalism and utter naivety”. He said that when in office, he was “frustrated” by how the Human Rights Act, introduced by his party, made it difficult to remove migrants to came to the UK.
Mr Woolas also blamed similar liberalism within the coalition government and by the French and said a detention centre should replace the camps at Calais to “send a signal”.
“If migrants knew they’d be locked up and deported when they got to Calais, they wouldn’t go,” he said.
The Government announced a series of measures over the weekend to tackle the problem, including tougher penalties for landlords who fail to check the immigration status of tenants.
John Keefe, public affairs director for Eurotunnel, welcomed the efforts by the Government to make the UK less attractive for migrants, but warned that they would not solve the immediate issue. He said there was a “major problem” now with the “5,000 or so migrants living and moving around the Calais area at will”.
New powers will also be made available to make it easier for landlords to evict tenants if they are in the country illegally, following a successful trial in the West Midlands.
But the effectiveness of the Government’s proposals was immediately disputed after Greg Clark, the Communities Secretary, could not say how many evicted illegal immigrants had been deported.
Richard Lambert, chief executive of the National Landlords Association, said the policy could lead to illegal immigrants “barricading themselves in” and “defending themselves with all the force they can muster”.
“It could put people in potential danger. We need to think through the consequences of the kind of systems we are putting in to place,” he said.