British Kebab Awards overshadowed by industry worries over post-Brexit decline

The British Kebab Awards will be held tonight – showcasing the best of the UK’s favourite late-night fare.

Jeremy Corbyn has been known to make an appearance in the past while Theresa May penned a note of congratulation to one of the winners, last time around.

But among the celebration of the Middle Eastern meat dish, there is a worry that post-Brexit Britain may see the industry struggle.

Top of the list of worries among industry experts is a distinct skills shortages: “almost a quarter of takeaways are unable to recruit the staff needed to run their business,” says The Times.

“This is particularly acute for those cuisines requiring specialist chefs in curry and kebab houses, sushi and also fish frying.”

That’s why the British Takeaway Campaign, the organisers of the award ceremony, are urging the government to ensure that the immigration system enables takeaways to recruit the staff they need from within the European Union and beyond.

The group is calling on the Government to support the sector, which it says is being squeezed by rising inflation and business rates.

“The hospitality industry always needs people – we need staff in the kitchen right now”, BTC chairman Ibrahim Dogus, told the Financial Times last year, noting that virtually none of the job applicants at his kebab restaurants in London were British.

So far, Theresa May has only announced that there will tougher laws on EU nationals entering the UK after Brexit, but has not mentioned policy proposal for those coming from outside the EU.

Last year a survey found that “over a third of takeaway businesses believe that the industry’s current skills shortage will be made worse by Brexit”, says The Independent.

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