The Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper
Cooper said that the government needs to make sure that employers are helping train the next generation of British workers rather than "relying on trained staff from abroad" Reuters

The shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper has slammed the boss of Domino's Pizza UK in a row over immigration controls in Britain.

Cooper, the Labour MP for Normanton, Pontefract and Castleford, said that the government needed to make sure that employers helped train the next generation of British workers rather than "relying on trained staff from abroad".

"Take the Domino's Pizza boss who said he needed low-skilled workers from abroad to fill all his vacancies," Cooper said.

"Yet if he has trouble filling jobs, why doesn't he pay staff more? Many aren't even paid the living wage."

Cooper's comments come after Lance Batchelor, the chief executive of Domino's Pizza UK, claimed that his company could fill 1,000 positions across the country if it had more candidates and that the Prime Minister's benefits crackdown on migrants would impede his business.

"We're struggling to get enough employees since the immigration laws were tightened up two or three years ago," said Batchelor.

"We are finding it harder and harder to hire staff, especially in London and the southeast."

Beyond criticising the boss of Domino's Pizza UK, Cooper also argued there is a "real problem" with some recruitment agencies hiring only foreign and not native workers.

"We've seen reports of agencies that only recruit from abroad, exclude local workers from jobs, and use loopholes to reduce employment rights," Cooper said.

"That's why we called over a year ago for government to act. Local workers should never be excluded from employment opportunities. We don't want a race to the bottom between employers or countries on support for workers or on social security."

The debate over immigration into the UK has heated up recently as European Union restrictions on Bulgarians and Romanians to work in Britain were lifted on New Year's Day.

A report published in November revealed immigrants who have come to the UK since 2000 have made a "substantial" contribution to the country.

The research conducted by academics at University College London found, among other things, that migrants from European Economic Area countries have made a negative fiscal contribution to the UK, but non-EEA migrants made a negative fiscal contribution.

A previous report by the same research group found the overall wage effect of immigration is "slightly positive".

In particular, the research revealed the lowest paid native workers saw their pay packets slightly depressed by the public policy move, but that immigration has led to slight wage increases in the upper part of the country's "wage distribution".