East Africa

UK to help Kenyan nurses learn ‘Medical English’: envoy


Summary

  • The Kenya-UK agreement offers 22,000 slots for Kenyan health workers seeking employment in the UK following Brexit a year ago.
  • Last year, 2,685 nurses were shortlisted and were at various stages of compliance with regard to the tests.
  • However, statistics from Kenya’s Ministry of Labour indicate that 644 candidates were disqualified from the process for either failing the language proficiency tests, holding expired licences, or not being registered with the Nursing Council of Kenya.
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By LUKE ANAMI


Kenyan nurses who failed English language tests required for immigration to the UK will be supported by the British government to learn ‘Medical English’, an envoy has said.

“We are ready to assist Kenyan nurses learn medical English. This is part of the plans to enable them to work in the UK,” said Jane Marriot, UK’s ambassador to Kenya.

Speaking to journalists soon after the launch of the Kenya-UK Economic Partnership Agreement Council and committee of senior officials on Tuesday, Ms Marriot said the process to teach medical English has already begun.

Last year, Kenyan nurses who failed English language tests required for immigration were allowed to retake the exams.

The Kenya-UK agreement offers 22,000 slots for Kenyan health workers seeking employment in the UK following Brexit a year ago.

Last year, 2,685 nurses were shortlisted and were at various stages of compliance with regard to the tests.

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However, statistics from Kenya’s Ministry of Labour indicate that 644 candidates were disqualified from the process for either failing the language proficiency tests, holding expired licences, or not being registered with the Nursing Council of Kenya.

The disqualification delayed plans to send the first cohort of Kenyan nurses to the UK following an agreement between the two countries.

To work in the UK, foreign nurses must pass the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) or Occupational English Test (OET), as well as the Computer Based Test (CBT).

Successful nurses will be given a three-year work visa and a renewable contract.

They will work for 37.5 hours per week and earn about Ksh3.86 million ($33,978) annually or Ksh321,499 ($2,830) per month.

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