The future of those traditional
staples of British cuisine, Indian and Chinese takeaways, have been thrown into
doubt by new Home Office restrictions on the overseas recruitment of skilled
The immigration minister, Damian
Green, has decided to halt the recruitment from overseas of migrant chefs from
outside Europe to work in any establishment that provides a takeaway service.
When the Labour government made a
similar proposal in 2008 to restrict the influx of skilled cooks and chefs, it
provoked a demonstration in London’s Trafalgar Square by thousands of people
from the Bangladeshi, Indian, Pakistani, Turkish and Chinese communities.
The change is proposed as part of a
package of further immigration restrictions, which will see eight jobs removed
from the official shortage occupation list under which skilled migrants from
outside Europe can come to work in Britain.
The package will reduce the number
of jobs open to non-European skilled migrants from 500,000 to 230,000 – fewer
than 1 per cent of the UK labour force.
About 5,500 skilled migrants who came to the
UK in 2010 to work in shortage occupations will be excluded by the new rules.
The restrictions mostly follow
recommendations made by the committee and include closing the door on senior
skilled care workers, despite representations from care homes, which claim they
are unable to recruit British or European staff.
It is thought, however, that care
home managers and nurses are excluded from the ban.
The eight occupations being removed
from the 38 on the official shortage list include high-integrity pipe welders,
airframe fitters, electricity industry site supervisors, skilled meat boners
and trimmers, skilled senior care workers and skilled sheep shearers.
The change means the list will now
mainly include skilled engineers, jobs in medical, nursing and veterinary
professions, maths and science teachers, visual effects and computer animators
and certain ballet/contemporary dancers and musicians.