The UK votes to leaves EU!
What can this mean for The British Asian Cuisine industry?
The European Union has positively impacted UK’s hospitality industry enabling approximately 442,000 people from EU countries to work in hotels, restaurants, coffee shops as well in a variety of other sectors etc.
Whilst non specialist sectors have benefitted the Asian restaurant sector has suffered.
The free flow of unskilled and low skilled EU workers into the UK forced a policy of blocking access to urgently needed specialist skills from the rest of the world. Many sections of British industry have been starved of skills resulting in business loss purely for the sake of managing immigration numbers. The Home Office devised harsh and debilitating policies against businesses with an innate need for diverse skills on the false premise that such skills could be met within EU labour market. The treatment of skilled non EU workers in the UK has also been harsh and unfair.
The UK is one of the largest global cuisine centres of the world and a mainstream industry thought to be contributing around £5 billion to the UK economy. Nonetheless business migration policies have singled out this industry and imposed highly restrictive and impossible to meet conditions. Most obstructive of this being the shortage occupation criteria ruling for highly skilled Specialist Chefs denying access to 99% of industry due to collection and delivery of restaurant meals being deemed as ‘fast food’ and therefore not having sufficient skill needs.
During the Brexit campaign many of you cited access to commonwealth countries for high skill needs as a reason for leaving EU. Being in EU meant a hostile and uncompromising visa regime and off putting bureaucracy for businesses with a reasonable need for international skills. Leaving EU is justifiable in this regard.
Studies have shown that 94% of Europeans working in the UK’s hospitality sector would actually fail to meet the current requirements that have been set for those coming from outside the EU. Moreover in spite of all efforts it is unlikely many Poles, Romanians, Bulgarians and Latvians have the ability or desire to become highly Curry and Tandoori Chefs. Many of whom do indeed work in the curry industry do so in nonskilled non specialist roles.
We have long stated only an upper echelon of specialist skill sets should be sourced internationally whilst two thirds of staffing needs can be met in country, providing conditions to achieve this can be implemented. See www.goldstarchefs.co.uk/recruitment
In spite of the initial shock and short term pain of leaving the EU a new immigration system that allows fair access to specialist skills from around the world can only be a good thing for your business. To date your industry is suffering from chronic skill shortages as a consequence of historically disastrous open door immigration policies followed by equally disastrous closed door policies on the other extreme. Automatic settlement after 5 years on work visa with immediate lifelong access to state income has been the nail in the coffin to many businesses as in the prime cause of monumental labour drain .
As a new political age dawns let’s all help in drawing up a new chapter in the sustainability and prosperity of your industry.
Join us in devising fair, practical and sensible suggestions that will be acceptable by the government.
Let us all shape the future of recruitment in this industry than have it shaped for us
Hans Raj Ram