TORY grandee Iain Duncan Smith yesterday blasted UK bosses for not “bothering” to find British workers for vacancies currently filled by EU workers in a blistering attack.

As the CBI demanded open borders after Brexit, the former Conservative leader blamed employers for not hiring British workers and dismissed their call for immigration targets to be scrapped.

The former Work and Pensions Secretary called for a system of work permits to be extended to all foreign workers who want to come to Britain.

He told Radio 4’s Today programme: “A lot of employers simply have not even bothered to try and find UK people to work.

“I think the best thing to do is work with what we have got and make it work for everyone around the world.

“People can come here for work but they need to have work to come to and that work needs to have been agreed and accepted that there isn’t a person in the UK that could do that work and has the skills to do that work.”

Mr Duncan Smith, the architect of the flagship Universal Credit benefits scheme, said the current welfare system was distorting the employment market.

He added: “What’s happened is access to benefits, including child benefits even if you don’t have your children with you, has distorted the whole system around them being able to offer much cheaper wages and have them completely topped up.

“In the last year figures were available, and this is important, more than £4.1 billion was spent on people from the EU who have come over here getting tax credits, child benefits, housing benefits. That’s one of the great pull factors.

“Leaving the EU, we should not be offering for people to come over here just looking for work and to claim benefits.

“We need a living wage that does not require people to come over here and claim benefits to top up.”

But CBI deputy director-general Josh Hardie rejected Mr Duncan Smith’s assessment.

He said: “The suggestion that British businesses do not even bother to look at British workers to fill roles is wholly detached from reality and needlessly provocative to the thousands of firms across the UK facing labour and skills shortages.

“Businesses are trying to have a balanced, honest debate about a new immigration system for the UK.

“We need to build this model from facts, not fantasy.”