March 18, 2011 - Anonymous
Plans to reduce the number of skilled jobs open to non-EU migrants may leave small businesses in the hospitality industry short staffed, business groups have warned, writes Clare Bullock.
Under reforms announced by the Migration Advisory Committee, from April the number of skilled jobs available to non-EU migrants will be cut from 500,000 to around 230,000. A total of 71 professions will be removed from the shortage list, which covers jobs difficult to fill with employees from the UK or EU.
Business groups said the hospitality industry was likely to be among the worst affected. For example, chef jobs will be restricted to those educated to graduate level, or those with a minimum of five years relevant experience and a potential job offer of £28,260.
British Hospitality Association spokesman, Miles Quest, criticised the move. “Small ethnic restaurants will be affected because it will stop the flow of very highly-skilled specialised ethnic chefs into the country,” he said.
“It will have a serious effect, not just on those restaurants which are already open and looking to expand, but any restaurant that might want to open in the future – it will be difficult to find staff,” he added.
Quest queried the Government’s decision to restrict entry to chefs educated to graduate level: “We would like some acknowledgement that this is a highly specialised skill. Look at Gordon Ramsey or Jamie Oliver – highly skilled in their own way, but they aren’t educated to degree level and a degree would be totally irrelevant to them.
“If we begin to either lower the quality or reduce the number of restaurants, it is not going to help our economy.”