Wednesday, 11 June 2008

Commons starts inquiry into points-based system

The House of Commons has started an inquiry into the points-based migration system, which was introduced in 2008. The home affairs committee, which has Keith Vaz, Labour MP from Leicester, as its chairman, will investigate the implementation plan of the new points-based migration system, especially its impact on particular groups and sectors like catering and restaurant businesses. The inquiry will also assess the introduction of new sponsorship arrangements. "There have been many concerns raised about the new system, including the information provided to businesses about their requirements and the delay in processing applications. The catering industry has also raised major concerns about the effect they believe this system will have on their employees. It is vital that we look at the validity of these concerns," Mr Vaz said.

The £3.2 billion British curry industry comprises mainly of restaurants serving primarily Indian, Bangladeshi, Pakistani, Sri Lankan, Nepalese or modern fusion cuisine. Most of the staff for these curry houses is recruited from South Asia. The new points-based immigration system has left no route for hiring of kitchen staff from South Asia as immigration of low-skilled workers from outside the European Union has been closed.

There are more than 25,000 unfilled vacancies in kitchens of curry houses and some of the restaurants even faced the threat of closure. over a lack of staff, according to the curry house owners.

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