Nazmul Hossain, London: A delegation who involve with Curry Industry met Prime Minister David Cameron at 10 Downing Street on Thrusday, 19th May 2016.
An emergency solution was discussed with the delegation to avoid the negative consequences while the quantity and quality of chefs produced by training schemes to catch up with demand in the £4.2bn a year industry.
The Le Raj Academy in Epsom, Surrey (British Curry College) in close association with North East Surrey College Of Technology. This purpose built educational facility is set to open in the month of September as a long-term solution. Other Further Education establishments are already interested in linking to this particular training scheme but success is very much reliant on generating an interest in Curry Cuisine as a career, among an indigenous UK population which, until now has been reluctant to enter the ‘foreign’ world of the curry kitchen.
That’ why the delegation proposed to PM a tight controlled, minimum 1 to 3 years temporary work visa scheme where expert chefs from outside the EU are allowed to enter the UK with very strict employment terms e.g. no right of return UK, no chance of residency or out-of work benefits, restricted to the sponsoring restaurant only, private health insurance provide by employer and dependents could not be brought to the UK.
Currently, this type of short-term visa is used in the USA, Germany and the Middle East.
VIDEO: The delegation is briefing to Journalist on their recent meeting with PM
This kind of temporary visa would be no burden on the welfare state or the British tax payer. On the other hand, this opportunity for knowledge transfer would sustain the jobs of UK resident staff and curry restaurants would not be closed. With this scheme curry industry can rescue from current staff crisis (the shortages are the main reason why two Indian restaurants are closing every week) and continue to offer British curry lovers a quality of experience every bit as good as they have come to expect over the last 40 years, they stated.
The immigration cap requires skilled workers from outside the European Union to earn £29,570 – curry chef salaries are typically closer to £25,000. Applications are often refused even successful sponsorship licence applications can take eight months.
Mr Enam Ali MBE, leader of the delegation warns, while many restaurateurs have to bear the cost of getting external advice on how best to navigate this complicated, time-consuming process. The cooling off period of six months to re-apply for a sponsorship licence needs to much flexible perhaps with a right of appeal. Furthermore chefs who hold a valid visa card but their employer’s licence being revoked, cannot join another employer, as despite being legal in this country until his/her case is resolved by the UKBA. This can take up to months or years to resolve.
The delegation who met Prime Minister consisted of Enam Ali MBE (FIH Editor of Spice Business Magazine), Shanor Khan ( Secretary General British Bangladesh Caterer Association), Abdul Muhaimin Miah (President of Thames Valley Guild of Bangladeshi Restaurateur), Shafiqul Islam (Director of Asiatic Ltd – Restaurant Supplier), Alun Sperring (Director of Chilli Pickle Restaurant), Shah Jalfukar Ali (Founder and Director of Dabbawal), Dr Sanawar Choudhury (TV host & Entrepreneur), Cllr Jehangir Haque ( Councillor & Restaurateur) and Bashir Ahmed (Director of Franchise Restaurant Group).
VIDEO: The biggest event in the curry industry ‘The British Curry Awards’
Spice Business Magazine is the organizer of ‘The British Curry Awards’. The Spice Business magazine is established since 1998 and publishing every quarterly with over 100,000 readership. It is the only independent voice of the industry with the highest circulation and is Britain’s No 1 Asian restaurant magazine.