Government planning to send 10,000 nurses to the UK for employment

After Israel, the government plans to send qualified human resources from Nepal to safer labour destinations. The government has initiated a process to send 10,000 nurses to the United Kingdom (UK) for employment. The Ministry of Labor, Employment and Social Security has said that it is currently in the final consultation stage with the UK to send Nepali nurses. According to Surya Prasad Gautam, secretary at the Labour Ministry, the agreement is being prepared as the UK government wants to hire nurses from Nepal.

Formal dialogue has already started between the two countries on providing employment opportunities to Nepali nurses in the UK. The Labor Ministry has formed a committee to move ahead with the talks after the British government forwarded a formal letter stating that it wanted to provide opportunities to Nepali nurses under its ‘National Health Program’. The ministry has formed a committee under the coordination of the ministry’s joint secretary, Binu Bajracharya, to lead the discussion.

Labour officials of the two countries are now engaged in regular talks to reach an understanding at the government level (GTG). According to the ministry, the selected nurses selected for employment in the UK will receive an annual salary of 48,000 pounds sterling (4,000 pounds per month) or about 7.5 million rupees.

Following the UK government’s interest to provide working visas to Nepali nurses, the Labour Ministry recently approached the Nursing Council about the nurses available in the Nepali market. According to the Nursing Council, 66,000 nurses are registered in Nepal. Of them, 24,000 are out of the country for employment and education, while 8,000 nurses serve in various government health institutions. Of the 33,000 nurses available in the market, the number of nurses working in private health institutions is unknown.Nepal is officially sending nurses to Israel as caregivers. Similarly, many people go to different countries for nursing-related work with individual labour permits.

Last month, the Department of Foreign Employment took a language test to send workers to Israel for employment. Israel is an attractive job market for Nepali caregivers. Experts have raised concern that Nepal should not allow skilled professionals such as nurses to overseas destinations for work.

Foreign Employment Sector Getting Back on Track

The Nepali foreign employment sector is slowly bouncing back to normalcy with increased demand from overseas employers. There has been a gradual growth in people going abroad for foreign jobs in the last few months. Around 55,000 job seekers went for foreign employment last month (mid-October and mid-November).
According to Department of Foreign Employment (DoFE), there has been surge in demand for Nepali workers from foreign companies. In the first four months of the current fiscal year, around 150,000 Nepali workers went abroad for foreign employment, shows DoFE records.

According to the Department of Foreign Employment (DofE), 54,918 migrant workers entered foreign job markets in Kartik. Of them, 24,009 were the ones who received the permits for job renewal from the department.

During the period, 19,081 people went to Qatar, one of the lucrative job destinations. Similarly, 17,009 individuals left for jobs in Saudi Arabia, and 13,550 individuals left for UAE. Likewise, 82 job-seekers went to Malaysia, which recently reopened its job market for migrant workers.

Nepal, Qatar Agree to Revise 2005 Labour Agreement   
Nepal and Qatar have agreed to revise the Bilateral Labour Agreement. The two sides agreed to amend the 2005 pact during the fourth meeting of the Nepal –Qatar Joint Committee held recently. Qatar has accepted Nepal’s proposal to support the socio-economic reintegration of the Nepali migrant workers who have returned from Qatar. Likewise, the Gulf nation has also agreed to systematize the Qatar Visa Centre further.

Moreover, the Government of Qatar has given its nod to establish training centres in each province in Nepal for the skills enhancement of potential migrant workers.
During the meeting, the Qatari side urged the Nepali side to lift a ban on hiring domestic helpers from Nepal. In response, the meeting agreed to form a bilateral committee and incorporate the issues in course of revising the labour agreement based on the recommendation of the same committee.

The Industry, Commerce, Labour and Consumers Committee of the Federal Parliament has recommended seven conditions for a destination country to hire domestic labourers from Nepal.

Month                                   Migrant Workers’ Departure

Kartik (mid-OCT to mid-NOV)              54,918
Ashoj (mid-SEPT to mid-OCT)              39,671
Bhadra (mid-AUG to mid-SEPT)           36,040
Shrawan (mid-JUL to mid-AUG)            25,428

Qatar expressed its readiness to abide by the recruitment criteria recommended by the parliamentary committee.

The meeting discussed the guarantee of workers’ social security, workplace safety, health and insurance policy, and other issues. Joint Secretary at the Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social Security, Binu Bajracharya, led the Nepali side, which also included Under Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Pushpa Raj Bhattarai, and Under Secretary at the Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social Security Dr Thaneshwor Bhusal.   Secretary Ek Narayan Aryal presented Nepal’s agenda before the team from Qatar during the meeting. Likewise, Mohammed Hassan Al-Obaidli, Qatar’s Secretary for Labour Affairs, led the Qatar delegation during the meeting. The diplomatic relation between Nepal and Qatar was established three decades ago. The two countries had signed the Labour Agreement in 2005 to make labour migration safe and systematic.

Govt Resumes Korean Language Test from mid-December
The government is resuming the South Korean language test under Employment Permit System (EPS), which was held for over a year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Issuing a public notice, the Department of Foreign Employment’s EPS section said that the language test would take place from December 16-22.

The department is conducting a computer-based test of the Korean language this time. The Korean government had earlier called for the job placement of more than 5,000 employees for 2021, for which examinations were supposed to take place in May, 2020. A total of 92,000 applicants had applied for the language examinations, which could not held due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The government has looked into sending many workers to Korea although many eligible candidates are already on the waiting list for job placement in Korea. The government recently started sending more than 6,700 individuals who have already cleared the Test of Proficiency in Korean, a mandatory Korean language test, and the skill test for job placement in Korea.

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