There has been a lot of recent debate over the current tight UK immigration policy that makes it really difficult to bring curry chefs from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. The policy requires that non-EU immigrants must be able to speak English, that they be educated to NVQ level 4 and that they be paid £28,260.
Some argue that these requirements are too much too strict and have contributed to the chef skills shortage where one in four jobs is vacant.
From the other side, it is argued that there are a lot of unemployed people already living here who can be trained to be chefs. But it isn’t as straightforward as this – being a chef involves working unsocial hours and a not a lot of people are prepared to do this.
The latest article that we read on this subject (in the Epsom Guardian) has Mr Ali, of Le Raj restaurant in Epsom, preparing a report that he will be presenting to the government at the end of August.
Mr Ali points out that the chefs that arrive here are skilled workers and are not asylum seekers. And he also notes that restaurants want to promote themselves to visitors of the 2012 London Olympics and the chef shortage may mean that they cannot do this.
We’ll continue to follow this story with great interest.