By James Muonwa
THE United Kingdom (UK) administration has availed £15 million to facilitate the recruitment of health and social care workers from across the world, including Zimbabwe.
Afflicted by the unabating economic crisis back home, Zimbabweans have resorted to undertaking nurse aide courses to make them eligible for recruitment as adult social care workers in the UK and other European countries.
There was apprehension among locals amid rumours UK would this March, terminate head-hunting for nurse aides to fill the gaps wrought by the Covid-19 pandemic.
However, through a recent communication, the British government said it had extended recruitment of health and social care employees to 2024.
“This guidance is for local authorities and adult social care providers.
In February 2022 care workers were added to the Health and Care Worker visa shortage occupation list, enabling these roles to be recruited from overseas.
“Government can confirm that it is making £15 million available over 2023 to 2024 to help support international recruitment within the adult social care sector,” reads a letter seen by NewZimbabwe.com.
“The aim of this fund is to promote collaborative arrangements which reduce administrative complexity and burden, particularly for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) providers.”
The local support arrangements offer recruiting agencies help with identifying overseas candidates, completing sponsorship license and visa application and onboarding, among others.
The great trek to the UK has also attracted expert health professionals, with latest data confirming more than 4,000 nurses and doctors have left Zimbabwe since February 2021.
The UK is by far the destination of choice, with data from the British Home Office in 2022 revealing that Zimbabwe is now in the top five skilled worker visa recipient countries.