A survey commissioned by YouGov has revealed 93% of the British public believe chefs should be considered ‘skilled labour' under the government's proposed new immigration policy.
According to the poll, an overwhelming majority of those surveyed said chefs should be classified as "skilled" labour. Other professions that the public believe should fall into the "skilled" category include HGV drivers (73%), butchers (84%) and construction workers (77%).
The poll comes on the back of the government's recent promise to "end the reliance on low-skilled labour coming into the country" with a new points-based immigration system that has no provision for workers considered to be "low-skilled". The controversial legislation which requires that workers have a job offer from a sponsored employer with a minimum salary of £25,600, is due to come into effect on 1 January 2021.
Last month's announcement was reported to have ‘shocked and saddened' operators in the hospitality industry, who feared the new rules will inevitably lead to staff shortages and business closures. Leading figures in the hospitality industry quick to respond included Will Beckett, co-founder of Hawksmoor, who said:
As a result of turning off the tap, some businesses are going to close; they will fail to adapt to that new reality and staff shortages will get worse.
With unemployment at a historic low and hospitality needing to find 200,000 additional workers this year, the staffing crisis looks set to get considerably worse .