It’s certainly a welcome news to hear that there are thousands of jobs abroad available for Filipino workers. As a country known for exporting its labor resources, announcing jobs for Royal Caribbean by the thousands and another supposedly hundreds of thousands of jobs as nurses in Germany is often considered the first step in a rewarding high-paying career abroad, right?
Unfortunately it’s not as easy as it appears. We assume that with many positions available, the hiring requirements might have somehow become eased to fill up these positions, but it’s not. Also, not all announced job openings are perceived to be truthful and may be used by illegal recruiters to dupe unsuspecting applicants.
Going back to that Germany nursing job, it sounds so promising. Germany is the biggest economy in Europe which speaks of its clout to hire foreign workers to take up jobs locals may be unable to meet. According to The Wall Street Journal, about one-third of Germany’s population will be older than 65 by 2060, and such conditions are ripe for strengthening of healthcare system, with nurses playing significant role in that plan. Germany’s partnership with the Philippines (others are Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Tunisia) under the Triple Win Project ensures German employers support qualified with immigration procedures and help them settle in the country.
But a recruitment and migration expert sounded the alarm relating to the Department of Labor and Employment’s (DOLE) announcement that the Philippines as a preferred source of nurses with specialty in geriatric care for jobs in Germany.
“No. If you’re looking at 2020, that is only four years from now. Personally, as a recruitment consultant in the business for 35 years, we do not foresee this number to be growing, not even by the number of 10,000 by that time,” Emmanuel Geslani said in a radio interview at dzMM.
The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) has also expanded the Triple Win Project between the governments of the Philippines and Germany that it now includes the participation of private recruitment agencies in the hiring process.
Lack of exposure
But the problem, Geslani said, is that not only Filipino nurses lack training and experience in geriatric care, they also generally lack actual experience in clinical care.
He added that such lack of exposure will be major obstacle for registered nurses who want to apply for Germany nurse jobs. Most overseas positions, such as those in the United States and Middle East require a minimum of two years of clinical experience.
A key requirement in a nursing practice abroad is to learn the local language. Just like nurses required to attend language training when applying for jobs in Japan, German language is also a requirement for job seekers for Germany.
Geslani said the low number of deployed nurses to Germany since two years ago, the situation can be attributed to the difficulty of applicants in learning to speak and write the German language.
Of the 222 Filipino nurses accepted by Germany, only 128 have been deployed so far, as the rest are still completing their preparatory German language training in the Philippines.
German language training takes up to six months and costs P60,000, accoding to Elsa Villa of the Philippine Association of Service Exporters Inc. (PASEI). While the POEA asserts that expnses for the language proficiency requirement will be shouldered by the employer, applicants who don’t have employers yet can finance their own training and seek reimbursement once employed later.
POEA Administrator Hans Leo Cacdac also clarified that the 200,000 nurse job openings in Germany are not only for Filipinos. Likewise, he added that there are no job orders for these vacancies yet.
So the next time we read those thousands of job vacancies, it’s better to understand the complexity in eligibility instead of being overly excited of the possible financial windfall and other benefits.