New govt apprenticeship rules are barriers for international nurses to attain training opportunities – UKMALAYALEE

New govt apprenticeship rules are barriers for international nurses to attain training opportunities

Monday 28 March 2022 8:07 PM UTC

By A Staff Reporter

LONDON March 28: UK government’s new apprenticeship rules are becoming a barrier to international nurses to access most of the funded training opportunities including Masters in Advancing clinical practice (Apprenticeship route).

The new rules means that nurses are required to have GCSE level 2 qualification in English and maths to access these courses.

Unfortunately, the 10th and 10+2 English and Maths qualifications of these nurses from India are not comparable to UK’s GCSE (year 11) English and Maths. They are required to complete the functional skills course before the completion of the Masters programme for their MSc certificates to be released.

Having a higher degree, Masters degree, PhD or any level 6/7 qualifications from a UK University will not be sufficient to prove their English and Maths skills. This requirement is creating unnecessary distress, anxiety and extra work for the nurses who wants to access these apprenticeship courses. The internationally trained nurses are finding it difficult to comprehend this requirement for a level 7 programme.

They have done 10 +2 years of schooling and passed with high percentage marks to access their initial nurse training, and many have passed IELTS/OET to prove their English language proficiencies to register with NMC. This blanket approach for English and Maths requirement for apprenticeships is clearly a systemic barrier for nurses trained in India to achieve their career ambitions.

There are more than 32,000 nurses trained in India are registered with UK nursing and midwifery council.

These nurses migrate to UK for better opportunities and improved lifestyles. However, they are now faced with a situation where these international nurses and AHPs are required to REDO their GCSEs/level 2/FS if they want to become an ACP in UK through apprenticeship route.

In summary the below qualifications will not be enough for you to become an ACP in UK through apprenticeship route.

Your secondary school certificate from your home country i.e. India
⁃Your nursing qualifications ( diploma/degree/MSc/Phd)
⁃Your level 6/7 certificates from UK HEI
⁃Your ability to work at band 5/6/7/8
⁃Your ability to work as a registered health care professional in UK

Last week, a university asked a trainee advanced practitioner (MSc student) to do functional skills as UK ENIC rejected the English qualification despite studying English from kindergarten and having 73 per cent and 82 per cent marks for English in 10th standard 10+2 with respectively. It is interesting to note that functional skills are not a requirement if you access fees paying MSc.

Nurses who have GCSEs from English speaking countries like USA, Ireland, New Zealand, Australia are able to access the course but not the GCSE/equivalent qualifications from the countries where we are actively recruiting like India and Philippines.

It is frustrating for these nurses to see the years of hard work to achieve many qualifications and experience is not counted.

The marks received for English and Maths will now be checked on ENIC to check the level of your overseas qualification for employment. The UK agency for international qualifications and skills (ENIC) compare overseas qualifications to the UK education system, comparing them to UK qualifications and framework levels. The degree and Masters from these countries are comparable to UK level 6/7 but the GCSE.

Sajan Sathyan, UUKMA Nurses Forum, national coordinator, has raised the matter nationally and hoping for a review of the apprenticeship standard. Please see the Tweet below.

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