CURRY restaurants in Edinburgh have sworn to fight the new points based immigration system that came into force in the UK in February, saying their industry is doomed if they cannot recruit workers from India and Bangladesh.
Restaurants around the capital are signing a petition in the hopes that they will be able to convince Westminster that they need to spared from the new legislation.
The Australian-style system has been accused of making it much more difficult to bring in skilled staff from outside the EU, apparently forcing restaurants into employing non-Indian/Bangladeshi’s who don’t have the same knowledge or understanding of the nations traditional cuisines.
The Home Office is now drawing up a list of occupations with shortages that will allow priority visas to be issued to non-EU workers where positions aren’t being filled.
Noonu Miah, owner of Pataka Restaurant and chair of the Bangladesh Samity Association, has said: "It`s a positive sign. We want to be on this list of industries. Restaurants are suffering from a severe shortage of staff.
"We will be presenting ourselves to the Home Office. We will do whatever it takes. We are a big part of the community and if we don`t get more staff it`s going to affect everybody badly".
Economists are currently investigating whether chefs, amongst other professionals, will qualify be drafted in from outside the EU, or whether people here could be trained to fill the positions.
A House of Lords committee report published today saying that record levels of immigration in recent years have had little or no impact on people’s economic well-being was refuted by Prime Minister Gordon Brown, who claims immigration is good for Britain, and no limit is needed.
Is your restaurant affected by the new immigration laws?
If so, we want to hear from you, add a comment (anonymously if you prefer) below.