Communities secretary Eric Pickles is to launch a "curry college" to teach British workers how to perfect the art of Asian and Oriental cooking, as part of the Government's new strategy on integration, to be published soon.
The move is expected to come in response to the skills crisis in the £3.2bn curry industry, triggered by a migration cap, which makes recruiting chefs from Bangladesh, India and Pakistan difficult for UK restaurants. However, there were few details on what form the scheme would take and what financial backing it would receive.
The Guardian said the plan was part of an integration strategy which has taken months to complete but is expected to get approval from Downing Street and be published shortly.
The draft paper will see the strategy broken down into four strands: establishing common ground; increasing social mobility; improving participation; and countering intolerance and extremism.
The curry college is expected to fall under the heading of "increasing social mobility". An early paper for the "integration and tolerance working group", entitled Creating the Conditions for Integration, said: "The Indian restaurant sector has already approached the Government to explore how they can be supported to recruit and train British workers. Changes must come from the sector but the Government will work with them to identify barriers and short-term support."
By Neil Gerrard
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