The United Kingdom (UK) has provided £15 million to support the recruitment of health and social care workers from around the world, including Zimbabwe. With Zimbabweans experiencing an ongoing economic crisis, many have turned to nurse aide courses to become eligible for recruitment as adult social care workers in the UK and other European countries.
In March 2022, there were concerns among locals that the UK would terminate head-hunting for nurse aides to fill gaps created by the Covid-19 pandemic. However, the British government has extended the recruitment of health and social care employees until 2024.
According to a recent communication seen by NewZimbabwe.com, the UK government has allocated £15 million from 2023 to 2024 to support international recruitment within the adult social care sector. The fund aims to promote collaborative arrangements that reduce administrative complexity and burden, particularly for small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) providers.
Local support arrangements offer recruiting agencies assistance in identifying overseas candidates, completing sponsorship license and visa applications, and onboarding.
The UK’s recruitment drive has also attracted expert health professionals, with more than 4,000 nurses and doctors leaving Zimbabwe since February 2021. The UK is the preferred destination, with data from the British Home Office in 2022 indicating that Zimbabwe is now among the top five skilled worker visa recipient countries.
This move by the UK government will provide much-needed employment opportunities for Zimbabweans and help address the shortage of health and social care workers in the UK. However, it also highlights the ongoing economic challenges and lack of job opportunities in Zimbabwe, forcing citizens to seek employment opportunities overseas.