Despite the global crisis, Filipina nurses and caregivers are still in demand in the United Kingdom. Even nurses who have not taken the board exams can qualify to work in a UK-based caring home. The good part is that the British Embassy in Manila has shortened the processing of UK work and student visas. What used to be a three- to four-month processing can now be over in just four to six weeks.
Consul General Teresa de Vega and British Ambassador Designate Stephen Lillie were exclusively interviewed by the ABS-CBN Europe News Bureau. “Meron naman po demand para sa mga nurses, para sa ibang skilled professionals,” said de Vega. “I think it’s obviously an area of opportunity. How many people will be recruited obviously has to be determined by the health service here in accordance with points-based system,” added Ambassador Designate Lillie.
The Caring Career Training (CCT) Company is one of the four legitimate recruiters of Filipina nurses and carers into the UK through a student visa. It requires a minimum two-year school training. The nurses and carers receive a monthly modest pay, which progresses depending on their performance at the assigned caring home.
Almost 200 nurses had already been recruited by CCT, and they appear to be happy with the training facilities and accommodation. “May mga paperworks talaga. May mga workbooks, mga sasagutan,,, related naman sa work,” commented Joanne Timbol. “Naghahanap din sila ng mga work plans namin pero hindi naman kami pinapabayaan,” said Sheila Gonzaga.
But CCT clarified that there is an initial corresponding free of 3,500 pounds (P300,000) to cover training, food and accommodation expenses including the visa. This does not yet cover the plane fare which the applicant has to pay. Jay Mariano, CCT overseas director, said, “In the Philippines, we do not receive the money. What happens is that they do the transactions straight to the UK. Para po may receipt sila .”
Based on statistics, there is an annual increase of 10 percent in the manpower requirements of UK caring homes. Unlike in the Philippines, the population of adults is much higher in the UK. Apart from nurses, the Philippine Embassy said there is also a demand for plumbers and electricians.