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MEMBERS of the region’s Bangladeshi association have lobbied MP Sir Nicholas Soames over immigration issues which they claim are crippling the curry business.
Rules mean if restaurants want to bring in chefs from overseas, they must pay them at least £30,000 a year.
But many argue this isn’t workable and want that figure reduced to what they say is a more realistic amount.
Last week, the Mid sussex Bangladeshi Welfare Association met Sir Nicholas and as well as salary problems, raised the idea of starting a training school for young chefs.
Association secretary Mustak Miah said: “We requested him to implement a training school for apprenticeship or training scheme where we can train youngsters who are keen and passionate to learn to cook if this can be achieved then that will surely help the situation.”
The association is also seeking clarity as to exactly what the rules are regarding restaurant and takeaway staff.
Mr Miah added: “If you are a restaurant serving food you can apply to bring in an overseas skilled chef at £30,000 but at the same time if you are serving takeaway food in the same premises you can’t apply.
“Either way we are snookered.
“Surely you are just packing the same food and serving it in a container.”
Also present at the meeting was Burgess Hill Town Council leader Pru Moore.
Mr Miah said he was confident their pleas were heard.
“I am very hopeful that leader of the council Pru Moore will now liaise with Sir Nicholas Soames and will let us know the outcome in due course,” he added.
Source: The Argus