Caribbean healthcare workers can expect to continue to be recruited to live and work abroad over the next few years, suggests Joseph Boll, CEO of Caribbean Employment Services Inc.
The market-leading online talent acquisition service headquartered in Barbados but operational throughout the Caribbean specializes in helping businesses and organizations recruit the best candidates for their roles and jobseekers find their ideal position. Over the past few months in particular, it has noted and commented on increasing efforts by foreign employers to recruit Caribbean talent. This is especially the case with employers based in the United Kingdom, which has been experiencing severe labour shortages since the beginning of this year.
“Recruiting Caribbean workers is becoming an increasingly viable option for employers in the United Kingdom, United States, Canada and elsewhere,” says Boll. “International labour markets are facing shortages in multiple sectors — in the UK, it’s been critical for healthcare; in the US, the tech industry is beginning to report staffing challenges. The Caribbean can be a crucial source of skilled workers to fill job gaps in markets that are lacking.”
This issue of labour shortages is particularly critical in healthcare, with the COVID-19 pandemic ongoing and a recent outbreak of monkeypox pushing the sector to maximum capacity. According to the Nuffield Trust, the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) is currently experiencing a shortage of 12,000 doctors and over 50,000 nurses and midwives. Further, the UK’s Evening Standard has reported that some 475,000 additional healthcare jobs and 490,000 social care jobs are expected to be needed in the country in the years ahead.
The UK’s labour climate has set the perfect stage for Caribbean workers to benefit, and this is already beginning to play out. Several clients of Caribbean Employment Services Inc. have successfully recruited Caribbean healthcare workers over the past year. Additionally, most of those employers have offered quite attractive relocation packages, footing the bill for expenses like flights, accommodation and transportation. They have also offered impressive sign-up bonuses that healthcare workers would have been hard-pressed to find in their native locales.
Continuing efforts to recruit Caribbean workers for healthcare positions could be a mutually beneficial position for the region’s workers who are seeking better opportunities as well as for UK and USA employers who are struggling to fill vacancies.
According to the Evening Standard, a spokesperson for the UK’s Department of Health and Social Care said the government is seeking to recruit over 50,000 more healthcare workers over the next two years.
However, the most recent annual NHS Staff Survey found that dozens of British healthcare workers feel burnt out and are looking to quit the industry on the whole. Additionally, a study by TotalJobs found that 3.4 million British workers are looking to leave the country to live and work abroad. With these factors on top of the already severe labour shortage, Caribbean workers could very well be among those recruited to the NHS.
Caribbean Employment Services Inc. continues to encourage Caribbean workers to pursue the best opportunities for themselves and their families, even while advising Caribbean employers to improve their efforts to retain staff.