The British Hospitality Association (BHA) and sector skills council People 1st have welcomed the recommendation to include skilled chefs on the UK shortage occupation list.
As part of Home Office plans to reduce the number of individual positions open to migrants by 30%, the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) was tasked with revising the list of occupations and skills that are in short supply in UK.
The recommendation from the MAC, which was announced earlier this week, means that proposed new immigration laws to withdraw work permits from non-European workers will not apply to skilled chefs and that employers will continue to be able to recruit migrant workers from outside the EU to fill their vacancies.
Martin Couchman, deputy chief executive of the BHA, said the organisation is pleased to see that government has responded to the concerns highlighted by the industry.
"But now employers must play their part," he added. "Organisations must apply to be licensed in order to sponsor migrant workers."
Brian Wisdom, chief executive of People 1st, added: "This recommendation means that the industry can continue to recruit for the level of skills it needs, but in the countdown to 2012, we must continue to focus on investing in improving skills for all employees in the industry, so we are less reliant on importing skills."
The MAC's recommended list reduces the number of jobs open to migrants from one million to 700,000. The list also defines more tightly which positions cannot easily be filled by resident workers.
The official shortage occupation list will be published by the Home Office next month ahead of the skilled worker tier of the points system - known as Tier 2 - coming on-line in November.
By Kerstin Kühn
E-mail your comments to Kerstin Kühn here.