London: A shortage of chefs is threatening
the existence of `Balti`, Birmingham`s favourite dish that the
city council is trying to trademark.
In a submission to the Home Office, the Birmingham
Chamber of Commerce and Industry said the city`s Asian
restaurant and catering firms were facing huge problems in
recruiting suitably qualified and experienced staff, mainly
"The city is not only the birthplace of the dish, but
also home to the UK`s premier community of Balti restaurants
and businesses - The Balti Triangle", a spokesman of the
Birmingham City Council said.
The hotel and restaurant sector is a key contributor to
the economy of the West Midlands, where approximately 59,300
companies in this sector employ over half a million people.
The Chamber is lobbying with the Home office`s Migration
Advisory Committee to give more importance to the occupation
of a chef. They are demanding that the job profile should be
listed on the second National Occupation Shortage List, which
would enable easier recruitment of qualified chefs from the
"In Europe people train to be professional waiters but in
the UK the sector is seen as a stepping stone between jobs.
The hospitality sector must be seen as a valid arena to gain
real work experience and to establish a professional career,"
said Kiran Virk, Policy Advisor at the Chamber.