current rules, restaurant owners cannot
bring over trained chefs from non-European
countries. Importing chefs is covered under
tier-3 of a new Points Based System (PBS),
under which employers have to pay a certain
amount of money to bring over chefs, who
are classed as low-skilled workers.
many meetings with the Immigration Minister
who states that he understands the plight
of this important industry to the UK, nothing
is being done to improve the situation,"
said Keith Best, chief executive of the
Immigration Advisory Service. Best, who
this week met restaurant owners banded under
the Greater Sylhet Development and Welfare
Council, said the shortage of curry chefs
follows current and proposed immigration
rules that make hiring in South Asia difficult.
a former MP, said he has been told the government
has no plans to ease restrictions until
at least the end of December. "Such
delay and lack of appreciation of the crisis
facing the industry could do it irreparable
damage and, in so doing, cause disappointment
to many British residents."
many low-income families the only chance
they have of eating out is to go for a curry.
The late (foreign secretary) Robin Cook
described the British national dish as chicken
said plans to fill curry kitchens with Bulgarians
and Romanians had failed because eastern
Europeans have "no cultural sensitivity
or understanding" of the curry industry.
is a sad comment on government policy that
it favours eastern Europeans over citizens
of Commonwealth countries such as Bangladesh
whose preceding generations have contributed
so much to the British economy and continue
to do so," he added.
response to Best's complaints a Border and
Immigration Agency spokesperson said: "Our
objective is to manage migration in the
national interest, striking the right balance
between safeguarding the interests of the
UK resident work force and enabling UK employers
to recruit or transfer skilled people from
abroad in order to help them compete effectively
in an international market.
new Points Based System for managing migration
will simplify the rules, ensuring that that
those with the right skills to benefit Britain
can come here to contribute. We have also
established the Migration Impacts Forum
to enable us to take account of the impact
of migration on local areas and services.
recently established Migration Advisory
Committee (MAC) will advise Ministers on
where migration might sensibly fill gaps
in the labour market. The MAC has already
started work on the first shortage occupation
list for skilled employment which it aims
to publish in June."