The United Kingdom (UK) needs at least 50,000 nurses until 2024 as it opens its labour market for more job opportunities for Filipino professionals, according to the Department of Labour and Employment (DoLE).
In a report to Labour Secretary Silvestre Bello 3rd, London Labour Attache Amuerfina Reyes said that apart from higher demand in health care services, the Philippine Overseas Labour Office (POLO) also observed a growing market for workers in the financial sector, specifically for positions such as accountants, comptrollers, auditors, and also some jobs in the agriculture sector, as seasonal workers.
"Based on the job orders that we have been receiving, there are emerging opportunities for our overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) here in the financial sector. We can see an increase in the demand for accountants and auditors. Another opportunity is up for those seasonal agriculture workers in the potato farms," Reyes said.
She said Filipino workers in the UK are generally in a good working environment, adding that upon their arrival in the UK, they are scheduled for vaccination following the end of their quarantine period.
'Upon their arrival here in the UK, nurses are getting £19 to £20,000 per year. If they pass the exam, just like the one PRC administers in the Philippines, they will receive £23,000 to £24,000 per year. They are getting more from overtime pay, on top of their opportunity of becoming permanent residents after 5 years, if their track records are clean,' the POLO official added.
The Inter-Agency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) has exempted the UK from the existing 6,500 yearly deployment cap for nurses.
The IATF imposed the deployment cap on nurses to make sure that the Philippines would still have enough for the local healthcare system as the country continues to grapple with the health pandemic.