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State Minister calls on UK govt to ease visa for Bangladeshi workers

State Minister for Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment Shafiqur Rahman Choudhury MP has called on the UK government to ease visa conditions for Bangladeshi restaurant workers who want to work in the UK’s hospitality and catering sectors.

Shafiqur Rahman Choudhury MP was speaking as a chief guest at a high profile dialogue hosted on Thursday by the UK’s All-party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Bangladesh.

Bangladesh High Commissioner to the UK Saida Muna Tasneem, Bob Blackman MP and APPG vice-chair Lord Karan Bilimoria spoke at the event while APPG on Bangladesh Chair Rushanara Ali MP chaired the dialogue.

The state minister praised Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for her visionary leadership in transforming Bangladesh into a prosperous nation, as well as her government’s ongoing efforts to improve the well-being and welfare of Bangladeshis living around the world, including those in the UK.

He also noted that the bilateral relations between Bangladesh and the UK have reached new heights in the last 15 years due to the progressive foreign policy of her government. However, he said that there are still many areas to be explored to further broaden and deepen the Bangladesh-UK long-standing historic relations.

He particularly mentioned that Bangladeshi restaurants in different UK cities and towns are facing severe skilled staff shortages as the UK raised the minimum annual salary to £3,800, an amount that is not affordable for many restaurant owners.

The state minister requested the UK Government to lower the minimum annual salary for the people working in the hospitality sector. He also said Bangladesh can provide skilled construction workers and farm workers who can work in the UK as seasonal workers.

The state minister hoped that the Bangladesh Government would work together with the UK government to create more job opportunities for the Bangladeshi skilled workers, including restaurant workers, doctors, and nurses.

High Commissioner Saida Muna Tasneem has said that the Bangladesh High Commission, London is working towards providing more job opportunities for skilled Bangladeshi workers in the UK.

She noted that many caregivers from Bangladesh have been recruited in the UK over the past few years. Additionally, the recruitment of seasonal farm workers from Bangladesh has also commenced.

Rushanara Ali MP made a welcome speech at the event praising the state minister for his contribution to strengthening the bonding between the British-Bangladeshi community and their homeland Bangladesh.

High UK Parliamentary officials and eminent members of the British-Bangladeshi community attended the event.

Earlier, the state minister attended an event organised by the British Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce.