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ACT Chair Yawar Khan delivers the keynote address.

Asian caterers tackle skills shortage at awards dinner

IT WAS A three-in-one dinner for the Asian Catering Federation (ACF) and their 170 guests at the House of Commons this week.

If the hors d’oeuvres of the event was honouring the winners of the Asian & Oriental Chef Awards, and if the dessert was launching next year’s awards – then the main event was to launch a training scheme for aspiring chefs.

All eyes were on ACF Chair Yawar Khan as he delivered the keynote speech – delivering exciting news. The ACF is undertaking a joint initiative with the Tony Khan institute – which Khan founded in Bangladesh – to train young chefs in Bangladesh and then help them find jobs in the UK and help them apply for visas to take up the offers of work. As well as helping young aspiring chefs in Bangladesh, the scheme should help the UK curry industry, which has been suffering a growing shortage of trained chefs in recent years.

During his speech, Khan welcomed the Government’s recent announcement of a new immigration regime once the Brexit transition year finishes as the end of 2020. He welcomed the move to a points-based policy, saying, “For years we have lobbied government ministers and officials to relax the salary threshold for non-EU residents coming to the UK for work. The Asian Catering Federation supports the Government’s aim to make Britain a high-skilled economy.”

Khan did not comment on the detailed aspects of the new system, such as the need for workers coming to the UK to have qualifications equivalent to UK “A”-levels and to be able to speak English. These are strands which the Tony Khan initiative could pick up during the training in Bangladesh.

The ACF’s awards are supported by Just Eat and Booker-Makro. Coming events include:
20th April: ACF Asian Restaurant Awards, Manchester
22nd June: ACF Asian Restaurant Awards – Scotland, Edinburgh
22nd November: Asian Curry Awards, London
Click on the award for more information and/or to make a nomination.

Read more about it:
Top Asian and Oriental Chefs cook their best
No free movement for low skilled workers

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