Sustainable recruitment of nurses (Triple Win)

Project description

Title: Triple Win nurses – Sustainable recruitment of nurses from four countries
Commissioned by: Employers in Germany
Country: Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Philippines; Tunisia also expected
Lead executing agency: Employment agencies in the partner countries
Overall term: 2013 to 2016

Germany’s nursing sector is already feeling the impact of a significant shortage of nurses today. According to an assessment by the Federal Employment Agency (BA), in 2012 there were only 70 unemployed applicants for every 100 vacancies. The demographic change in the country will exacerbate this situation in the medium and long term.

By contrast, in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and other countries there is a surplus of qualified experts that cannot be absorbed by the local labour markets. This has resulted in a high level of unemployment among nurses in these countries.

The recruitment of qualified foreign nurses is alleviating the nursing shortage in Germany and reducing unemployment in the nurses’ countries of origin. The migrants’ remittances and the transfer of know-how contribute to development in the countries of origin.

The BA’s International Placement Services (ZAV) and GIZ have established a joint project to place 2,000 qualified nurses with German companies by 2014.

The migration from the participating countries of healthcare personnel who can demonstrate a suitably high standard of training presents a wide range of opportunities for everyone involved and generates threefold benefits (‘triple win’):

  1. The labour markets in the countries of origin are relieved.
  2. Migrants’ remittances provide a developmental stimulus in their countries of origin.
  3. The shortage of nurses in Germany is alleviated.

Migrating in this way provides the nurses with the chance to improve their future prospects. The project cooperates with the employment agencies of the partner countries and with ZAV, to select, assess, prepare and place the nurses. It provides them with support in their country of origin, upon arrival in Germany and during their stay there.

GIZ supports the process with its international field structure, focusing on the promotion of the nurses’ German skills, their professional preparation for the placement, and encouraging their integration after their arrival in Germany. The other contributor to the project, ZAV, is responsible for placing the candidates.

The project is based in part on placement agreements that have already been concluded between ZAV and the employment agencies in the partner countries. This means that after their foreign credentials have been recognised in Germany, the nurses who have been placed can take up employment commensurate with their qualifications and in the medium term will be entitled to a settlement permit.

In selecting partner countries, the project takes into consideration those countries which have a surplus of well-trained nurses. This is intended to prevent brain drain. In other words, placing nurses in Germany must not create a shortage of nurses in the countries of origin. Furthermore, the high standard of the nurses’ qualifications means that they can integrate more effectively when in Germany. In the light of these considerations, the project plans to include Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Philippines and probably Tunisia as partner countries. The standard of training in these countries is nearly the same as in Germany, and some nurses already have a good command of German.

The cooperation between ZAV, GIZ and the employment agencies in the partner countries permits the well-coordinated management of the labour migration in a spirit of partnership. The project promotes development policy and labour policy objectives, while at the same time observing a culture welcome of recognition.

Results achieved so far
In the context of the previous pilot project (2011–2012), around 80 nurses were placed with German employers. Project monitoring has verified that these nurses possess a high level of professional qualification. The employers were highly satisfied with the international nurses.

In order to meet the commonly expressed wish of the nurses and their employers for longer-term employment prospects in Germany, efforts have begun to extend the project and expand it to an anticipated four countries. The experience gleaned from the pilot project has made it possible to address the needs of the employers, the nurses and the countries of origin in a more targeted fashion – a promising situation with advantages for all three sides.