Only one in 50 people that apply for UK Prêt a Manger jobs are British


THERE has been much discussion over the last few years, as to what will happen when Britain leaves the European Union.

Understandably people in Spain are concerned for their positions. Will they be able to stay? Will they be able to work? How safe are their properties?

Well, I am no politician and have no insight into the machinations of such things, but personally I can’t see the Spanish government spitting out their dummies to lose the investments and current taxes etc that the expats provide to their economy.

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But of course it is not just the expats in Spain and the rest of Europe it is those that are from Europe and living and working in the UK. The very far right and the racist element have been shining on their policy ‘all the foreigners are taking our jobs!!’ I think that could be a gross exaggeration.

The Eastern Europeans – and there’s a lot of bad ‘uns!! – usually are hard working and yes they will work for less than maybe their British counterparts, but the British themselves can be work shy, preferring over generous benefit pay outs to an actual job.

God knows what would happen to the NHS in the UK if it were not for the thousands of expat doctors and nurses. BUT, the catering industry would be hit even harder. And it’s not that employers are trying to find the cheapest employee.

We do know however that ‘immigrant’ workers will work harder and longer so as to ensure they can live in their new found home. That applies to those that live and work here and I am sure many other European countries.

A case in question is the Prêt a Manger fast food sandwich chain. Only one in 50 people that apply for jobs are British, according to the company’s HR Director Andrea Wareham.

Speaking at a House of Lords economic affairs select committee investigating Brexit and the labour market held on March 8 this year, she said it was a difficulty in attracting, rather than selecting, British workers, and that 65 per cent of Pret’s workforce is made up of EU nationals.

She said the company would struggle to fill its vacancies with British-only applicants. Her concern was not just the chance of losing her workforce if it was a hard Brexit and EU nationals were refused permission to stay, but how she would fill the vacancies if no more ‘Europeans’ were allowed in.

It would not seem to be a question of salaries either. The average worker gets around £16,000 a year including free lunches and paid breaks. Managers earn around £33,000.

But it is hard to get people into the Hospitality industry as many people still do not consider it a ‘cool’ career. I suppose it’s back to the old acorn of unsociable hours. I have always found the hours very sociable as when everyone is having a good time, I’m sharing it with them!! 

SPEAKING OF SOMEONE WHO HAS MADE THE JOB COOL, Gordon Ramsay! Despite his ‘effin and blinding he is a great Chef and a successful businessman.

At first it has to be said probably because of the backing of his father-in-law, Chris Hutcheson, as Managing Director of Gordon Ramsay Holdings.But things went sour in 2010 when there was a public spat as Gordon fired his father-in-law for embezzlement.

The now 67-year-old was accused of hacking into his private and company computers and stripping the company of more than £1.4 million. It would appear that Tana Ramsay’s father has been living a double life and had another family for more than 30 years that produced more children to add to the four he already had.

He even paid his mistress £5,000 a month. He also put his son and wife on the payroll and wrote himself five figure cheques. After an acrimonious split which left Tana siding with Gordon after finding out what her cheating father had been up to Gordon paid Hutcheson £2 million in severance and share purchase in 2010, but in December of 2012 Ramsay was awarded £250,000 compensation when a judge ruled that the Hutcheson family were in breach of confidence as they hacked into the company computers.

This story has taken a twist now, as Chris Hutcheson – along with his sons Adam and Chris Hutcheson Jnr and daughter Orlanda Butland – have been charged under Operation Tuleta with conspiring to cause a computer to access programs and data without authority, between October 23, 2010 and March 3, 2011.

All four appeared at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on March 14 of this year and spoke only to confirm their names and addresses. Prosecutor Dan Suter told the court that the prosecution was brought by the International Justice and Organised Crime Division.

Describing it as a “convoluted” case with voluminous amounts of paperwork, he said it concerned “hacking of a computer system of Gordon Ramsay Holding Ltd and email accounts of company employees.”

Senior district judge Emma Arbuthnot granted unconditional bail to all four defendants until April 11 when a preliminary hearing has been scheduled at the Old Bailey. Even a cool chef, TV personality, millionaire and very happily married man can’t get everything right!!


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