The founders of the Bangladesh Caterers' Association (BCA), UK Ltd in the UK arranged Bangladesh Caterers Night 2006 recently in London.
The event was the largest annual congregation of restaurateurs, who attend to meet and exchange views with other fellow restaurateurs concerning their personal success stories, future policies affecting curry business, and to meet high-level government policy makers, according to a message received from London.
Dignitaries including MPs, former ministers, high commissioners and business magnates attended this prestigious event. The event was hosted by Channel 5 presenter Tasmin Lucei Khan and featured a plethora of entertainment including singing sensations Sonchary Music Group and dance routines from The Dancing Nikita Company.
The event awarded the talents of the children of caterers who have achieved higher education at colleges and universities throughout the UK.
The event also awarded the organisation's veterans, applauding them for their continuous hard work since the inception of the BCA in 1960, and the efforts of community leaders who have devoted their time and effort within their respective institutions and industry.
Recalling the contribution of Bangladesh caterers in British economy, Guest of Honour Frank Dobson MP expressed the hope that the sector would flourish in the near future.
Bangladesh High Commissioner to UK Sabih Uddin congratulated the award winner caterers, BCA Honour award winners and Meritorious Student award winners.
President of the BCA, UK Ltd Mahmadur Rashid presided over.
Among others, Mayor of Tower Hamlets Shafiqul Haque, Secretary General of BCA Ashraf Uddin and Senior Vice President Alhaj Manik Miah, Belal Ahmed, Director of Seamark also spoke on the occasion.
The BCA, UK Ltd has been playing a vital role in promoting a bilateral relation between Bangladesh and Great Britain since its establishment. The association is now proud to represent approximately 12,000 Bangladeshi restaurants and takeaways employing over 85 thousand employees with a turnover of £2.5 billion.
The BCA has had a profound impact on the recruitment of skilled and unskilled labourers from Bangladesh (the then Pakistan) and through their knowledge and work contributed greatly to Great Britain's industrial revolution of the 1960s.
In recent times, the BCA has worked closely with the British government with the sector-based scheme a programme that was introduced to recruit unskilled labour from Third World countries into the UK's catering industry, renowned for suffering a shortage of labour.
Since restaurateurs of Bangladeshi origin own the majority of catering businesses in the UK, the BCA lobbied to ensure that the pool of labour was derived from Bangladesh since unskilled labour originating from non-Subcontinent countries such as European countries would have time and communication related barriers.
In debating with the government, the BCA assisted them in the recruitment drive for the catering industry, recruiting more than 12,000 unskilled labourers from Bangladesh. Subsequently, the BCA with the government administered nationwide survey targeted at Bangladeshi caterers in order to assess how much Bangladeshi restaurateurs benefited from the sector-based scheme.