Counties

100 Kenyan waiters, chefs land jobs in UK

Uhuru Kenyatta and Boris Johnson

President Uhuru Kenyatta shakes hands with UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson outside 10 Downing Street in this picture taken on January 21, 2020. FILE PHOTO | NMG

geraldandae

Summary

  • More than 100 Kenyans in the hospitality industry have landed jobs in the UK after Britain lowered an education requirement for foreign workers last year.
  • Recruitment firm GR8 says it recruited chefs, kitchen porters, housekeeping staff, bar staff and waiters from Kenya for the job offers in the UK to bridge the deficit.

More than 100 Kenyans in the hospitality industry have landed jobs in the UK after Britain lowered an education requirement for foreign workers last year.

Recruitment firm GR8 says it recruited chefs, kitchen porters, housekeeping staff, bar staff and waiters from Kenya for the job offers in the UK to bridge the deficit.

This group of employees, who would previously find it difficult to land jobs in the UK, are a beneficiary of changes in the UK’s new immigration rules that followed the UK agreeing to a deal to exit the European Union, which requires highly skilled Kenyans without degree-level qualifications to access work permits for employment in Britain.

The UK, which voted to exit the EU in 2016, agreed to a new trade deal with other European countries on December 24, triggering new rules on work, residency and trade. The relaxed visa rules will enable Kenyan professionals in fields such as IT, accountancy, plumbing and electrical works to compete with other migrants.

The UK has in recent years come under criticism for its stringent work permit and visa approval rules for Africans. Successful visa applications for business take up to four weeks on average to be processed, mostly in South Africa, with the majority of the applications being rejected.

The new UK work permit rules treat all foreigners equally unlike the previous work visa policy which had “free movement rights” clause for citizens of the EU bloc member countries.

To qualify for a visa, migrant workers who want to move to the UK will have to attain 70 points. Having a job offer from an approved employer for a skilled assignment will earn 40 points. Being able to speak English will give another 10 points.