Rudd said the government would make it harder for companies to give jobs to immigrants before recruiting British people.
“This will include examining whether we should tighten the test companies have to take before recruiting from abroad,” Rudd said at the Conservative Party conference in Birmingham on Tuesday.
“The test should ensure people coming here are filling gaps in the labour market, not taking jobs British people could do,” said Rudd.
“But it’s become a tick box exercise, allowing some firms to get away with not training local people. We won’t win in the world if we don’t do more to upskill our own workforce. This is why I want to reduce net migration while continuing to ensure we attract the brightest and the best,” Rudd said.
The speech shows growing support within the ruling Conservative Party for a so-called Hard Brexit, where the UK leaves the European Union without signing any special trade agreements with the remaining 27 member states of the European single market in return for tougher controls on immigrants.