Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz on Monday announced that there is a demand for 739 professional nurses in the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland, citing a report by the Philippine Overseas Labor Office in London.
“This is a worthy career opportunity for our Filipino nurses who want to seek overseas employment. The UK and Ireland employers provide not only good employment packages but also their governments strictly prohibit charging applicants placement fees,” Baldoz said.
According to the Labor secretary, Filipino nurses have what it takes to get hired.
Records show that the Philippines is producing at least 200,000 nursing graduates a year while there are only 2,500 nursing jobs available locally.
The job mismatch has forced Filipino nurses to seek greener pastures abroad or take on non-hospital related jobs here like call center agents and sales executives or worse as overseas domestic helpers.
In its 2015 first-quarter report, the Social Weather Stations said an estimated 9 million Filipino adults remain jobless.
Baldoz reminded Filipino nurse-applicants that although there is an abundance of career opportunities in the UK and Ireland, they should be well-prepared for the process that they need to go through in order to land the job.
Nurse-applicants must satisfy requirements set by the UK’s Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC).
The requirements include attaining an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) score of 7.0; passing the two-part competency examination composed of the multiple choice Computer-Based Test (CBT), which is accessible in many countries, including the Philippines; and hurdling the Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE), which is held in the UK.
Only applicants who pass the CBT will qualify for the OSCE. They will be granted a visit visa for six months, which will allow them entry into the UK not earlier than 14 days prior to the scheduled date of the OSCE.
A nurse-applicant who fails the OSCE is allowed to retake it twice. If the applicant still fails, then he or she has to go back to the Philippines even before the expiration of the six-month visit visa.
On the other hand, a nurse-applicant who successfully passes the OSCE will automatically be registered as a nurse with the NMC.
The applicant, however, has to go back to the Philippines and apply for a Tier 2 visa with the UK Embassy in Manila as sponsored by the UK employer, and process the exit clearance with the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration through the employer’s Philippine Recruitment Agency.
In the Republic of Ireland, hiring of Filipino nurses requires an IELTS score of 6.5. Applicants would have to undergo a nursing adaptation or supervised nursing practice upon arrival in the country before they can register with the Irish Nursing and Midwifery Board and later on work as registered nurses.
A registered nurse in the UK receives an annual salary ranging from £21,478 to £27,901; while a nurse in Ireland receives a salary ranging from €29,205 to €35,000 a year.
“While the application process may be quite challenging, we are confident that with the exceptional skill, professionalism, work ethic and values of our Filipino nurses, they would be able to meet these requirements,” Baldoz said.