Conservative MEP Anthea McIntyre, who lives in Ross-on-Wye, has secured key amendments to rules governing a Europe-wide job website used by EU migrants seeking work in Britain.

The European Parliament today approved changes which allow employers to choose whether or not to post vacancies on the EURES site and remove the need to advertise traineeships and apprenticeships across Europe.

Miss McIntyre, West Midlands MEP and Conservative employment spokesman described it as an important decision.

She said: "It is only right that businesses have the choice of advertising their jobs only to British residents and that people in Britain get the first opportunity to secure those jobs," she said.

"However, where companies are unable to fill vacancies it can be useful to extend their search through EURES to attract the best people from Germany, France and elsewhere."

Previous rules insisted that all positions advertised in UK job centres must also be posted on the EU-wide site. Since December 2014 the UK Government has given British firms the choice to opt out, but this position remained open to legal challenge.

The European Parliament has now formalised the UK’s position, allowing employers not to advertise a vacancy on EURES if the move is justified "on the basis of skills and competence requirements related to the job."

Before the UK Government changed its rules in December 2014, 60 per cent of jobs on the EURES site were for posts in the UK. This has now dropped to 15 per cent, reducing one of the factors pulling EU migrants to Britain.