Chefs should be considered “skilled” labour under projected immigration rules, according to the British public.
88% of those questioned in a YouGov poll said that chefs should be classified as skilled under post-Brexit immigration plans laid out by the government last month.
It wants to introduce a points-based system for immigration that will leave applicants needing to meet a ‘required skill level’.
The scheme has courted controversy, with experts warning that it will make it difficult to attract employees and leave hospitality employers struggling to find staff.
Home Secretary Priti Patel said it would help “unleash’ the UK’s ‘full potential” but many fear that will put an even greater strain on the industry.
Under the new legislation, which is due to be introduced on 1 January 2021, the salary threshold for skilled workers wanting to come to the UK would be lowered from £30,000 to £25,600.
Data from Fourth Analytics reveals that back-of-house operations in the restaurant sector will be hit hardest, as 75% of this sector is made up of overseas workers, with an average wage of £9.17.
According to the YouGov survey of more than 1,600 adults between February 23 and 24, 92% of respondents thought chefs and butchers were skilled but 48% felt hospitality workers were unskilled.