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Volume 716: debated on Tuesday 5 January 2010


Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the Written Answer by Lord West of Spithead on 14 July (WA 203), how many skilled chefs were granted United Kingdom entry visas in each of the last eight quarters; and what were the results of the Migration Advisory Committee's review of whether to continue to fill shortages of skilled chefs through migration. [HL748]

The Migration Advisory Committee’s (MAC) latest shortage occupation list was published on 21 October. The committee concluded that the occupation is still in shortage and recommended that the occupation remains on the list. David Metcalf, chair of the MAC also stated that the committee is “minded to remove skilled chefs from our recommended list in 2010 unless there is evidence of a coherent strategy to train substantial numbers of chefs being in place by then”.

The Government are working with the ethnic catering industry to develop a long-term strategy—ready in spring 2010—to fill more of the shortage of skilled chefs from the UK labour market and reduce the reliance on migration. This involves upskilling our domestic workforce, equipping new entrants with the required specialist skills, and making jobs in these industries a more attractive career option.

Information on the number of visas issued to skilled chefs cannot be retrieved centrally. It would be necessary to examine individual application forms and we could therefore only provide the information requested at disproportionate cost.