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Andrew Mitchell MP to plug the skills gap in the Royal Town's curry industry

The Royal Town’s MP and Councillor Ewan Mackey met with Kabir Uddin, owner of the Bashundora restaurant in Sutton Trinity, and other key community figures in Sutton Coldfield’s curry industry to discuss the need to help the service and hospitality sectors in regard to skilled chef shortages.

The meeting highlighted concerns around the narrowing of several immigration programmes which saw many skilled Bangladeshi and Indian workers arrive to the UK to support the thriving curry industry. Some workers, however, will no longer meet the new requirements to obtain valid leave to remain and work in the UK.

Under the last Conservative-led Coalition Government, the job title of skilled chef was included on the shortage occupation list after recommendations from the Migration Advisory Committee. Currently, the definition of a skilled chef is one where the pay is at least £29,750, the chef has at least five years of experience in an equivalent role, and the job is not in either a fast food outlet or standard fare outlet.

Following the meeting, Mr Mitchell said: “Curry nights give us, in the Royal Town, something to look forward to each week. It is vital, therefore, that we plug the skills gap of our Curry industry. In view of the concerns highlighted to me today regarding the effects of Britain’s immigration rules on the curry industry here in Sutton Coldfield, I have personally written to the Home Secretary to raise these on behalf of my constituents.”

“Yet, this presents a unique opportunity for the Royal Town to take advantage of this skills gap and nurture home-grown talent. I have, therefore, further arranged for Mr Uddin and his delegation to meet with Andrew Cleaves, Chief Executive of Birmingham Metropolitan College, and I am positive that they will be able to come up with a constructive solution to encourage more young people in the Royal Town to pursue a skilled career in Britain’s thriving curry industry.”

Photo: Mr Uddin and the delegation delivering a letter regarding the curry chef shortage to Andrew Mitchell MP and Councillor Ewan Mackey.

Mr Uddin and the delegation delivering a letter regarding the curry chef shortage to Andrew Mitchell MP and Councillor Ewan Mack

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