The Asian Catering Federation (ACF) and Tony Khan Culinary Institute in Bangladesh have announced the launch of a joint initiative to train and recruit young chefs in Bangladesh to address the ‘severe skills shortage' in UK curry restaurants.
The ACF represents 35,000 Asian restaurants and takeaways in the UK and has launched the partnership to train and recruit young chefs in Bangladesh, as well as offer support in processing immigration visas and securing jobs in the UK.
The announcement was part of ACF chairman Yawar Khan's (pictured) keynote speech at a House of Commons Awards celebratory dinner on 12 March honouring the winners of the Asian & Oriental Chef Awards.
During his speech, Khan also welcomed the government's controversial points-based immigration policy, saying: "The Asian Catering Federation supports the government's aim to make Britain a high-skilled economy."
The institute has been running for a number of years in Bangladesh and sends graduates to take up entry level jobs in kitchens and front of house.
Before the coronavirus outbreak, over 300 ACF member restaurants expressed an interest in recruiting graduates who would all be educated, fluent in English and qualify under the new post-Brexit points-based visa system.
However on Tuesday a spokesperson for the ACF told The Caterer that because of the government's announcement warning people to avoid restaurants, the recruitment and expansion plans currently "are on hold".