Hospitality industry hit by UK skilled immigration cap
United Kingdom, 1st March: Annual cap on UK skilled immigration is hitting the UK hospitality industry.
Employers in hospitality sector are finding it difficult to find required number of skilled migrant chefs to work in the restaurants in the UK.
UK restaurants experience shortage of chefs—Restaurants especially those serving Oriental and Asian cuisine are badly affected by limits announced on UK skilled migration. Chefs are in short supply throughout the restaurant sector in the UK, admits Suresh Banarse, head of people of Yo! Sushi, a chain of Japanese restaurant in the UK.
A large number of chefs working in restaurants in the UK are immigrants, Banarse adds. But, due to recent changes in the UK visa rules, recruitment of immigrant chefs is becoming a problem for employers in the hospitality sector, he maintained.
UK immigration minister Damian Green had revealed an increase in UK visa fee for overseas chefs wanting to come and work in the UK. As a result, many employers are shelling out around 60 percent of UK visa costs for each worker. And this is a cause of serious concern for the restaurant industry in the UK.
Training Britons to fulfill shortage of chefs in the UK—To fulfill a large number of vacant chef jobs in the UK, hospitality industry is gearing up to provide training to an increased number of UK workers for working as chefs. However, a point worth notable here is that growing talent within the nation does taken time.
Moreover, it also requires long-term commitment.
The UK government is helping the hospitality industry for recruitment of domestic skilled workers by providing funding to Hospitality Guild, a new organization. According to director of the guild, Martin-Christian Kent, a large number of Oriental and Asian restaurants in the UK have been recruiting overseas staff especially from Asia and Indian Sub-continent.
But, with changed UK visa norms, this is becoming quite difficult now, Kent admits. And a transition period is the need of the hour for the UK hospitality sector, Kent maintains. But, the UK government does not seem to be willing in this regard.
Rather than relaxing the annual UK immigration limit, it is likely to impose fresh restrictions on the number of skilled immigrants to be allowed into the UK this year. As per annual limits for skilled immigration, a total of 20,700 skilled migrants hailing from non-EEA (European Economic Area) are allowed to come and work in the UK.