November 12, 2012
Imagine heading to
Brick Lane, or even just to your local curry house and seeing boarded-up windows and empty streets. Finding the wafts of tempting turmeric and coriander have vanished, along with a £3.5bn industry. Could
really be so serious?
As soon as the government introduced tough new legislation in early 2011, making it virtually impossible to employ qualified chefs from the Indian subcontinent, there were predictions of a curry apocalypse. Already the cracks are starting to show. Restaurants in some of the UK's most iconic Indian hotspots have been forced to close.
Even Masala World
- one of the world's most respected Indian restaurant groups and owner of the Masala Zone chain - recently announced that due to a shortage of skilled Indian chefs, they have scrapped their UK expansion plans.
International Food Academy, which lies in the heart of
newly crowned Curry Capital 2012
They believe they have the key to salvation for our nation's favourite food.
"We're keen to promote and encourage British born chefs," says
, Head Chef at the International Food Academy in
, where students are learning the skills that many 2nd and 3rd generation immigrants are leaving behind.
, one of the biggest in the country, says it is proud to respond to the needs of the local community. This not only means providing training to youngsters and those seeking a career change, but to also provide much needed follow through job placement - vital in a country where 40% of students are now failing to find graduate level work 2 years after completing their course.
"Unemployed students can study [at the International Food Academy] without affecting their benefits. Indian and Pakistani restaurants recruit these students directly from the course and 90% of them are now working," says Burt in an interview with Curry Capital sponsors
Initiatives such as this have already been embraced by many top restaurants looking for new ways to snap up fresh talent.