Hays, the world’s leading recruitment experts in qualified, professional and skilled people, has reported that the acute shortages felt across the nursing sector in the UK has led to demand for professional staff from overseas.
The most affected areas for nursing jobs are in critical care (ITU), A&E, theatre, intensive care (ICU) and accident and emergency medicine nurses, with skill shortages also apparent for obstetrician and gynaecologist, orthopaedic, anaesthetic and recovery nurses.
“The available talent from abroad throws an important lifeline to the UK given the pressing need for skilled nurses. Around 10% of nurses working in the UK have trained abroad and the shortage of skills can only be adequately filled by targeted international recruitment,” commented Simon Hudson, Director of Hays Global Resourcing at Hays Healthcare.
A combination of more effective utilisation and retention of skilled nurses, increased emphasis on training new nurses and, in the short term, increased international recruitment, would seem to provide the optimal solution to the nursing jobs crisis.
“While most of our temporary and permanent recruitment is carried out locally, the demand for certain skills has outstripped supply. It is therefore our responsibility to help clients attract these key professionals from outside their local market,” stressed Hudson.
An international presence in 28 countries enables Hays to reach and target this extended pool of nursing professionals. “Our office network means we can source candidates from abroad and assist UK employers in finding correctly qualified nursing staff to meet their requirements,” added Hudson.
Hays Healthcare has now added a comprehensive project methodology programme, LOCATE, to its portfolio to provide further support to employers via its global network.
“This gives employers extra confidence to partner with us to fill the gaps in their workforce,” explained Hudson. “The new methodology, within an international recruitment context, helps our clients through the process – it is innovative and comprehensive, detailing exactly how each project will be handled to ensure that it is a success every time.”
The problems facing the nursing sector in the UK are further compounded by an ageing domestic workforce – around 60% of the worker population is due to retire over the next decade. However, the shortage of nurses is not just limited to the UK with demand outstripping supply across the world, which in turn fuels a cyclical international movement of labour in the nursing profession. Many UK nurses are leaving to go and work abroad, to destinations such as Canada, Australia, the Middle East and the United States. Hudson explained: “Clearly, lifestyle and financial reasons rather than an inability to find a job in the UK are two of the key motivators.”
Hays has also launched the Hays Healthclub, which supports existing and new workers. It provides new Hays members and those who refer others for roles, which are suffering from skill shortages with a £250 Healthclub bonus.