UK Government Advised to Ease Takeaway Chef Visa Rules
There has been an increase in labour shortages in the hospitality industry in recent years due to stringent immigration policies especially that of Tier 2 visa restrictions on restaurants that provide takeaway. An independent body, Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) has created a report that has advised the government to lift this ban that aids in preventing hiring chefs from outside the EU due to changes in the nature of hospitality industry.
Due to the popularity of app-based services like Just Eat & Deliveroo, there has been an increase in demand for takeaway services. Conversely this increase in demand has been harmed due to difficulty in filling up vacancies particularly for chefs. This has become an even bigger issue especially for restaurants that deal with Indian, Bangladeshi and Chinese cuisine. The statistics indicate that 16.7% of the industry workers are from the EU, but an even larger percentage of 29.6% were from other parts of the world. The report also highlights that there will be an even bigger decline of migrants from the EU after Brexit.
The government was planning on introducing a “skill based” immigration system for migrants which would include a 30,000 threshold. The MAC has rebutted this on the basis of labour shortages harming a novel and thriving part of the culinary industry. They have emphasized that this policy is in fact not “fit for purpose” as it would hurt rather than encourage economic growth. There is however a caveat as the recommendation by MAC still limits still limits Tier 2 visas for those working in fast-food or ‘standard fare’ outlets.
This development is great news for takeaway business owners and entrepreneurs as they can relieve some of the pressure of finding chefs along with being able to capitalize on the growing demand. As mentioned previously, this was an even bigger issue especially for Indian, Bangladeshi and Chinese Restaurants, therefore this is a positive instance for them.
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News Sources: BigHospitality and The Caterer