MANILA—Filipino nurses intending to work in the United Kingdom have better chances now of achieving their aspirations with the recent amendment of the “brain drain” IELTS (International English Language Testing System).
The IELTS has been a stumbling block for many Filipino nurses who want to work in the United Kingdom.
However, with the relaxation of the required IELTS rating of 6.5 in one or two categories, their chances are even better now for entry to the next test– the Computer-base test. After passing that test, the nurse can be flown to the UK by the recruitment agency for placement with her employer.
Philippine Labor Attache Joan Lavilla on Tuesday said nurses will be needed in the fields of cardiology, critical care, cardiac surgery, cardio thoracic, coronary care and catheter lab, and theater practitioners.
“The demand for Filipino nurses is expected to continue in the following months, given that most UK employers prefer to source nurses from the Philippines,” Lavilla said.
One of the requirements for overseas registered nurses trained outside of the European Economic Area or European Union who are applying for registration with the UK’s Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) is an Academic IELTS score of 7.0 in each skill – Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking.
Filipino nurses dread the IELTS exam since it does not only require a high rate of ability to speak English but also the writing, reading and listening portions.
The United Kingdom preferred Filipino registered nurses and over the past years, the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) has approved over 1,000 job orders from UK based placement agencies acting on behalf of the NHS (National Health Service) with local private recruitment agencies due to the severe shortage of nurses in the NHS, which is now close to over 20,000 vacancies.
Filipino nurses who took the IELTS for the past two years must now check their results and see if they now qualify for NMC registration with the amended requirements.
The IELTS is administered by the British Council in Manila.