Major UK employer looks to Caribbean for talent

April 11, 2023 2:33 pm

BRIDGETOWN, BARBADOS — Years after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, healthcare workers continue to be in high demand around the world. This is the case in the Caribbean as well, where not only have some countries had to look abroad for reinforcements, but some overseas countries have likewise turned to Caribbean talent to help shore up their healthcare systems. As of this month, even the likes of England’s public healthcare system is looking to the Caribbean in the hopes that nurses, radiologists, and other healthcare workers would be willing to migrate overseas to join their ranks.

The National Health Service (NHS) is one of the biggest healthcare employers in the United Kingdom. Now it’s partnering with Caribbean Employment Services Inc., a market-leading digital talent acquisition service based in Barbados but operational throughout the Caribbean, to launch a recruitment drive for qualified healthcare professionals. The NHS has come to the region with open arms, requiring only that applicants have at least one year of hospital experience and no more than 18 months of an employment gap. They are primarily looking for radiologists and nurses with specialties including Medical, Surgical, ICU, Theatres, Emergency, T&O, Haematology/ Oncology, Ophthalmology, and Paediatrics.

Joseph Boll, Caribbean Employment Services Inc. CEO, lauded the unique opportunity being presented to the region’s workers who may be adventurous enough to take up a position overseas.

“We at Caribbean Employment are so thrilled to be working with the NHS to offer Caribbean citizens and residents the chance to gain exposure and further their professional development in the United Kingdom,” Boll said. “This is a real chance to boost your career, and the NHS is known as an employer that demonstrates how much it cares for the well-being of its staff.”

Adding his voice to that sentiment, Antony Law, International Regional Director, NHS Professionals (NHSP) International, emphasized that the NHS is offering more than just job opportunities. As an organization whose motto is “Putting People in Places to Care”, he said, the NHS is also committed to providing its staff with work-life balance and career development.

“NHS Professionals has supported 7,000 international nurses, over the last two years, to relocate to the UK and start careers in the NHS,” Law said. “We are the largest supplier of international nurses here in the UK, and we fully support each nurse as an individual throughout all stages of the process. You will even be greeted by one of our team of experts at the airports when you land, ensuring that you are welcomed, valued, and cared for from the beginning of your journey in the UK.”

Caribbean workers seeking to join the NHS can also benefit from flexible work arrangements, professional enrichment, and other perks. In fact, Law said the entire point of the recruitment exercise is to help “diversify the skillset across the clinical wards that care for people across all specialties of nursing”.

“Every year, we help thousands of dedicated and highly skilled NHS workers enjoy better career opportunities, more flexible shifts, and a healthier work-life balance,” he said. “Under the Tier 2 VISA, nurses are able to work an additional 20 hours per week if they wish to do so… By joining today, you can start looking forward to a choice of flexible NHS jobs and long-term placement opportunities, as well as the ability to develop professionally and gain experience in a number of wards.”