The British Takeaway Campaign (BTC) has written to immigration minister, Kevin Foster, stressing the importance of continued access to skilled chefs from outside the UK to the sectors growth.
The takeaway food sector bought £5.9b gross value added into the economy in 2018, a figure predicted to increase to £7.1b in 2023. However, the campaign has said growth could be inhibited if an immigration system is introduced that prevents access to the skilled chefs necessary for the running of takeaway businesses.
BTC is concerned that the points system proposed by the government does not make adequate provision for the skilled chefs required to make international dishes including curry, sushi and dim sum. Their letter comes ahead of the publication of a report by the Migration Advisory Committee tomorrow (Tuesday).
Ibrahim Dogus, chair of BTC said: "The UK needs a new immigration system which recognises the need to make it easier for business owners to recruit the chefs they need so that the sector can continue to make a valuable economic, social and cultural contribution to the UK."
The Australian points system incorporates a medium- and long-term strategic skills list (MLTSSL), which defines some professions as vital to economic growth allowing applicants to reapply for a visa indefinitely, unlike the short-term strategic skills list (STSOL) which only allows applicants to reapply a set number of times. BTC would like to have chefs included on a UK MLTSSL list.
BTC was founded in 2017. It is an umbrella group that represents the companies and workers in the takeaway sector.