BCA action day

I’m Ibrahim Dogus, Chair of the British Takeaway campaign, which is an industry group representing the breadth of the takeaway sector from curry houses like yours to kebab and fish and chips shops.

I’m Ibrahim Dogus, Chair of the British Takeaway campaign, which is an industry group representing the breadth of the takeaway sector from curry houses like yours to kebab and fish and chips shops.
Spearheaded by Just Eat, we came together with the BCA a year ago and fifteen other industry bodies to form a powerful united voice for our sector to champion our combined economic, social and cultural contribution to the Government and policymakers.
And what aa contribution it is.
Our sector – of which curry is a critical part – generates £9.4 billion a year in economic growth and employs more than 231,000 people across the UK.
But despite this, and as you will all know, we face tough challenges in this economic climate, from the burden of increasing business rates to our ability to find the chefs, front of house staff and delivery drivers we need to keep our businesses up and running and growing.
I know this first hand because, like you, I run my own business.
I started working in a kitchen as a teenager and now run a string of restaurants in the capital.
This year, the BTC has worked hard to ensure our industry’s valuable contribution is recognised and to come up with solutions to the issues that are holding us back. 
That’s why we are pressing the Government to ensure our sector has the right skills and access to talent to continue to grow, including revising the Shortage Occupation List which is preventing takeaways from hiring specialist chefs from outside of the EU.
And that’s why we are proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with our friends and fellow BTC member, the BCA, on this issue today. 
We back the BCA’s call for the Government to end the anomaly which means a dining chef is on the shortage list, while a takeaway chef isn’t.  
We agree that the salary threshold should also be reduced.
But ultimately what our industry really needs is a post-Brexit immigration system which enables takeaways to access the skills they need from both inside and outside the European Union.
We also recognise that we need to do more to get young people fired up about careers in the sector and high quality vocational training is the key here. 

We have made proposals on what the new catering and hospitality technical level should look like, including calling for modules on shortage cuisines, such as curry making skills, and we are looking forward to working with the Government on shaping the curriculum.
We have also been banging the drum on your behalf on business rates.
It was good to see that the Chancellor heeded the BTC’s calls to reduce the burden of business rates at the last Budget but what is really needed is a fundamental overhaul of the system.  
Although only a year old, our industry now has an influential body, in the BTC, to represent your businesses, and our whole sector’s needs and interests.
Despite the challenges, I believe the future looks bright for the takeaway industry and we are determined to continue championing the sector we are so passionate about.