Health Cabinet Secretary (CS), Mutahi Kagwe, on Tuesday, February 1, launched an English Training program for Kenyan nurses seeking jobs in the United Kingdom.
Speaking at the Kenya Medical Training College (KMTC) headquarters in Nairobi, Kagwe noted that the launch marked a historic event as the government would train Kenyans seeking job overseas.
He added that the training program is aimed at creating a workforce that is internationally recognised.
Undated Photo of Nurses Engaging in a Conversation
“It’s a historic event as this is the first time ever that we as the government have undertaken a training of this kind whereby we are preparing our young people to train overseas.
“We want to create a workforce that is internationally able, qualified and for that we are proud. It’s essential that Kenyans can travel to the UK not feeling as refugees, not hiding behind the scenes but traveling as appreciated and recognised expatriates,” he stated.
He lauded the British government for according Kenyan health workers the opportunity to work in the UK’s health sector.
Responding to allegations that Kenyan nurses could not proficiently speak English, CS Kagwe reiterated that the training program is aimed at preparing the nurses to undergo the tests.
“I did not say we cannot speak English. As Kenyans, we can speak fantastic English and that’s why we teach the subject in other countries. But that’s not to say that we will pass the professional exam that is required in the international community,” he affirmed.
The Health CS added that other languages would be added to the program as the government continues to export more Kenyan employees overseas.
“It will not just be English. The next cohort will be sent to another country as diverse as Saudi Arabia whom we have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with, Kuwait which sought for 598 nurses and other countries. I’m told the UK is looking for truck drivers as well,” he pointed out.
Kagwe detailed that the opportunity accorded by the UK government benefits over 12,000 young health workers who graduate annually from colleges and universities.
“It’s very easy for those who are sitting in their offices to pontificate and accuse the government of all sorts of things when they have got a job and are waiting to get into their cars and go to their houses,” he stated.
The launch of the program comes after the health Ministry revealed that only ten out of 300 nurses had passed the UK English test in October 2021.
Undated image of an advertisement for nurses to enrol for Specialist Language Courses (SLC) Online English Test
Specialist Language Courses (SLC)