The UK chef shortage is very real – Is sponsorship the answer?

As is December 1st 2020 there were several changes to how you as a business can sponsor a Chef so Sponsoring may be easier than you think…..

Previously only highly skilled Chefs with a salary of £30,000 or above were allowed, for example, Head Chef, Sous Chef or Speciality chef, but did you know this has changed?

The UK Government has introduced the new Skilled Worker Visa which has reduced the salary threshold to £25,600/£10.10 per hour/”The Going Rate” for the type of work you are doing this could decrease further for a new entrance to just £20,480 (conditions apply) down from £30,000!!

Also, there is now no need for the resident labour market test – drastically reducing the overall possible time to hire.

What are the main benefits of sponsoring?

As a business we have been working in the international recruitment market for over 10 years, helping people relocate and businesses hire International talent and we have found that there are several key benefits to a business sponsoring:

  • The high retention rate of new hires
  • Adds stability to your kitchen team
  • Adds Diversity to your brigade
  • Brings in skills and new ideas not found in the local labour force
  • Opens a new pool of candidates for you with less competition to hire
  • Candidates seeking to improve their quality of life are more motivated to work
  • Visa Holder can bring dependents
  • A spouse can work meaning 2 incomes and easier to settle

But how much will this cost me I hear you ask? Maybe not as much you may think!

The total fees Payable are split between you the employer and the employee.

For a Small business The cost of a Sponsorship licence is a one-off fee of £536 (small business) you will then need a Certificate of sponsorship per person - £199 and then an Immigration Skills Charge of £364 per sponsored person per year Giving you a total of £1,099

The cost for the candidate starts between £610 and £1,220 if applying from overseas or between £704 and £1,408 if applying with in the UK. Every Sponsored employee will need to show they have sufficient funds (£1,270) available to support themselves (if the employer does cover this cost) and pay the Immigration Health Surcharge per year for the latest costs please check https://www.gov.uk/healthcare-immigration-application/how-much-pay

Your application fee will be automatically reduced by £55 if you’re from one of the following countries: Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, North Macedonia, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden or Turkey.

Another question we are asked is “I have the sponsorship licence, but how do I find the chefs?”

Not only have we seen an increasing number of businesses looking into sponsorship, but we still have a high demand from our candidates to relocate to the UK COREcruitment have hubs in South Africa, The Netherlands, France and the USA and have access to highly-skilled, experienced and pre-qualified chefs looking for a challenge in the UK. 

As a Business, we have partnered with Immigration experts who can guide you through the process of setting up your business as an approved sponsor and will be able to ensure your business remains compliant throughout so you don’t have to. 

If you are interested in finding out more about how COREcruitment can help you with the recruitment of overseas staff and would like to talk to our partners about your eligibility to apply for a sponsorship licence, please get in touch stuartcampbell@corecruitment.com.

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Date Published: 23rd September 2021