On 15 June 2018, Home Secretary, Sajid Javid announced that non-EU/EEA nurses are to be excluded from the current immigration cap and it was welcome news for beleaguered NHS employers.
The NHS accounts for around 40% of the 20,700 Tier 2 visa places per annum with 4,059 overseas trained nurses being granted a Tier 2 visa in the financial year ended March 2018, a 42% increase in the previous year.
With more immigration places freed up for overseas nurses, the English language test has now become the most powerful employment barrier for overseas nurses wanting to work in the NHS.
We decided to take a brief look at 5 English speaking countries to help NHS employers recruit more overseas nurses and midwives directly and where possible, avoid the English language challenge.1. Australia
In 2017, Australia had 289,616 registered nurses, 5,051 midwives and 2,229 mental health nurses. In 2016, the Australian Department of Health’s Nurses and Midwives NHWDS 2016 Fact Sheet listed 9,486 registered nurses, enrolled nurses, dual registered nurses and midwives as “looking for work”. Australia requires overseas trained nurses to show evidence of proficiency in the English Language and nurses are required to have a Level 7 IELTS to be registered.2. Canada
In 2016, Canada had 396,177 registered nurses of which 8.1% were internationally trained – 34.4% were from the Philippines, 13.3% from India and 9.3% from the United Kingdom. The Province of Ontario, which includes the city of Toronto has the largest nursing population in Canada with 139,723 registered nurses in 2016. Canada requires overseas trained nurses to show evidence of proficiency in the English (or French) Language and nurses are required to have a Level 7 IELTS to be registered.3. Ireland
Ireland had over 67,000 active registered nurses in 2016 according to the annual report of the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland including 8,853 Psychiatric and 10,772 Midwives. Certificates of Current Professional Status (CCPS) requests, which are required for nurses to work overseas, included 467 requests for the United Kingdom in 2016. Ireland requires overseas trained nurses to show evidence of proficiency in the English Language and nurses are required to have a Level 7 IELTS to be registered.4. Singapore
The majority of Singaporeans are bilingual in English and at least one of three other official languages. In 2016, there were 31,615 registered nurses in Singapore with 4,942 trained in the Philippines. As with Australia, Canada, Ireland and the UK, overseas trained nurses wishing to work in Singapore are required to show evidence of proficiency in the English Language and are required to have a Level 7 IELTS to be registered.5. United Arab Emirates
Arabic is the official language of the UAE, but English is the preferred language amongst the 7.8m expatriates (total population 9.2m) living there. In 2016, Abu Dhabi, the capital of the UAE, had 24,915 nurses of which 99% or 24,665 were trained overseas and in 2015, Dubai had 4,664 nurses of which just 50 were Emirati nationals. Under existing immigration laws, overseas nationals, including 29,279 nurses can only hold temporary work permits resulting in less security and greater mobility making the UAE the most transient nursing labour market in the world.
HealthSectorJobs organises international nursing and midwifery job fairs in English speaking markets exclusively for employers to recruit directly.
Click here to learn more about our upcoming nursing and midwifery job fairs in Toronto, Singapore, Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Perth, Dublin, Abu Dhabi and Dubai.