The United Kingdom (UK) administration has availed £15 million to facilitate the recruitment of international health and social care workers, including Zimbabweans.
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.
There were rumours, however, that the UK would this March terminate head-hunting for nurse aides to fill the gaps created by the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, through a recent communication, the British government said it had extended the recruitment of health and social care employees to 2024. Reads the letter seen by NewZimbabwe:
This guidance is for local authorities and adult social care providers.
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.
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.
Reports suggest that more than 4 000 Zimbabwean healthcare workers have left for the UK since February 2021.
Data from the British Home Office in 2022 reveals that Zimbabwe is now in the top five skilled worker visa recipient countries.
Many 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.