London, Aug 23: Indian restaurant owners in Britain have called on the government to introduce short-term work visas in order to plug the shortage of curry chefs across the country, a media report said on Sunday.
The owners are preparing a submission to Prime Minister David Cameron and cabinet members, which warns that 90 percent of Indian curry restaurants were “under the threat of a chef skills shortage”, The Independent reported.
It also reminds Cameron of his promise of “help” to “get the skilled Asian chefs you need”, that he made to Indian restaurants at the British Curry Awards in 2013.
“There have been questions on immigration and getting chefs with the necessary experience,” he acknowledged at the 2013 awards function.
Indian restaurants in Britain employ around 100,000 people and earn 4.2 billion pounds a year.
Enam Ali, who founded the British Curry Awards 10 years ago, said hundreds of restaurants could soon shut down as it can take up to three years to train a chef from scratch.
“We urge the government to help our industry. We strongly recommend that the immigration laws covering bringing in chefs from abroad be made, even on a temporary basis, more adequately flexible,” the submission from Indian restaurant owners reads, according to the British daily.