The United Kingdom needs more than 1,000 Filipino nurses, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) said on Tuesday.
The Labor department cited an ageing nursing workforce and a shrinking pool of registered nurses in the UK.
The United Kingdom is composed of England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.
DOLE Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz said the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) in the UK had received and verified eight job orders from various Foreign Placement Agencies (FPAs).
She added that two of the FPAs will deploy a total of 240 nurses—Search Recruitment Limited (180) and Medicare Staffing Limited (60)—to hospitals considered National Health Service (NHS) Trusts.
Four other FPAs will deploy 314 Filipino nurses to private care homes in the UK, including the Rushcliffe Care Group, Gold Care Homes Limited, Bond Care Limited and Four Seasons.
“There was an increase of job orders for Filipino nurses by 38 percent compared to last year’s, with 402 job orders,” Baldoz said.
Drake International, also an FPA, has submitted recruitment requirements to the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) and reported 487 job orders of Filipino nurses for its five clients.
Citing the 2014 hiring cap of 20,700 imposed by the UK on Filipino nurses, Baldoz said they “have not reached that cap yet.”
“Hence, more slots are available for Filipino nurses, considering the availability of UK’s own local pool of workers, as well as those coming from the European Union. The United Kingdom’s labor market remains a qualitative and quantitative selective market for migrant workers,” she added.
POLO-UK Labor Attache Joan Lavilla also cited reports and studies by the UK’s Center for Workforce Intelligence and the Royal College of Nursing, saying 24 percent of registered nurses are set to retire in the next five years.
Lavilla’s office reported a verified number of employment documents for seafarers for UK shipping companies and the Scottish fishing industry.
“British territories also hired 10 auditors and accountants for the Channel Islands, seven customer service assistants and one nanny on the Falkland Islands, all of whom are Filipino workers,” Baldoz said.
“With this good news, I wish to warn our nurses desiring to work in the UK to follow the legal stream, processes, of overseas employment, through the POEA to avoid getting conned by illegal recruiters,” she added.