Over 140 Vincy nurses given opportunity to work in the UK
MORE THAN 140 nurses have applied through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to take advantage of the recruitment opportunity for Vincentian nurses to work in the United Kingdom.
Nurses will be recruited under the Health Education England programme, which offers the opportunity to work in the United Kingdom (UK) for a threeyear period. Successful applicants will receive a number of benefits including a paid flight to the UK, three months paid accommodation, access to education and training opportunities and the ability to earn over £23,000 in their first year.
Approximately 141 applicants were invited to an information session with a team of recruiters on Tuesday. Interviews commenced immediately after the session and have been ongoing.
Sir Louis Straker, the foreign affairs minister said that unemployed nurses will be given first preference in the recruitment process, so that the country will not encounter issues with a deficit of nurses in the health sector.
“Those who are employed here, we don’t want you to have the system crash here by going in great numbers and leave us without proper nursing care here for our people. The World Health Organisation would crack down on us and bring this programme to nought, because they would realise we have a deficit here and we are shipping most of our trained nurses serving in the country here. So those who are trained and working, you have to stand at the back of the line and give those who are unemployed an opportunity as we advertised,” he said.
The minister expressed gratitude to the response from the Health Education England programme for presenting nurses with the opportunity work in their chosen profession in the UK health sector.
And he urged successful candidates to operate in a professional manner and represent the country to the best of their ability.
“There are always a few bad apples. People with an attitude who go in a foreign country or in a programme and they make it very bad for others; those who are successful, you are to be goodwill ambassadors, humble, loving and caring and perform the service as a credit to this country,” Straker said.
“Even in the Navy; while the general population of those who have entered in the Navy, the reports have been very good, there are always a few apples that will cast discredit. So if you know you have an attitude, if you know you cannot serve, if you know you’re not patient and tolerant, this is not for you, because you’re not going to embarrass St Vincent and the Grenadines abroad, especially in the nursing service.”
The recruitment team consisted of Michelle Thompson, head of the Global Learners Programme, Global Engagement Directorate, NHS Health Education England; David Keen, head of the Global Workforce Education, Global Engagement Directorate,
NHS Health Education England; Christine Pearson, director of Nursing, East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust and Alison Smith, Strategic Resourcing Lead, NHS Lancashire and South Cumbria. Cenio Lewis, High Commissioner to the UK for St Vincent and the Grenadines also expressed gratitude to Thompson and the team.
The High Commissioner said that he started the project over four years ago and has spoken with several officials in the UK “to give our unemployed nurses the opportunity to become engaged in the occupation they have chosen.”
Lewis also thanked the foreign affairs minister and Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves for lending their support to the programme.