Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Bangladeshi youth unemployment and the curry crisis

The BBC reports:

The Home Office is being urged to ease restrictions on migrant workers entering Britain from Bangladesh, to avert a crisis in the curry industry.

Curry houses are struggling to fill thousands of kitchen staff vacancies, says the Immigration Advisory Service.

For years, many staff in the UK's 9,000 curry restaurants have been recruited directly from Bangladesh.

But restrictions on the workers have been tighter since eastern Europeans were given employment rights.

Wait a minute. Britain's Bangladeshi community is known to have one of the highest unemployment rates of any ethnic community. Last year, in an article in the New Statesman, Ayum Korob Ali wrote:
Unemployment and educational underachievement are widespread among British Bangladeshi youth. Although things are improving, the dominant picture is one of failure: even those who achieve educationally often find themselves on the dole. In Tower Hamlets, the London borough with the largest concentration of Bangladeshis, 32 per cent of 18- to 25-year-olds are unemployed.
So if there is such a need for new staff in curry houses, shouldn't we be looking to recruit and train them from the Bangladeshi community in Britain?

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