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UK’s Indian hotels face chef shortage, want short-term visas

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London: Facing an acute shortage of curry chefs, Indian restaurant owners in the UK have called on Prime Minister David Cameron to introduce short-term work visas to save “hundreds” of restaurants from the possible shut down.

The owners are preparing a submission to the Cameron and other cabinet members which warns that 90 per cent of Indian curry restaurants are “under the threat of a chef skills shortage”.

Enam Ali, who founded the British Curry Awards 10 years ago, is preparing a submission to the Prime Minister and other cabinet members, including the Home Secretary Theresa May and the House of Commons Leader Chris Grayling, The Independent reported today.

Ali warned that it can take up to three years to train a chef and that “hundreds” of restaurants could soon shut down.

“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 reads.

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, the report said.

“There have been questions on immigration and getting chefs with the necessary experience,” Cameron had said then.

Indian restaurants in the UK employ around 100,000 people and earn 4.2 billion pounds a year.