Nurses who are working will not be allowed to register for the employment deal between Kenya and the United Kingdom.

The governments of Kenya, UK and Northern Ireland signed a bilateral agreement on July 29 for collaboration in the healthcare workforce. The deal allows Kenyan healthcare professionals to be recruited to work in the National Health Service of the UK.

Registration for the recruitment started on Monday but nurses who are employed both in the public and private sectors were locked out.

The recruitment is being spearheaded by the Labour Ministry. Only nurses without jobs will be considered in the registration process that is open until Friday next week.

The Labour ministry through the National Employment Authority has been mandated with the implementation in the recruitment and facilitation of qualified candidates to the UK in collaboration with the Health Ministry.

The first batch of healthcare workers to be recruited are nurses.

Eligible candidates must be registered and licensed by the Nursing Council of Kenya, must possess a diploma or bachelor’s degree in nursing from a recognised institution and must also be in possession of a valid police clearance certificate.

Nurses who qualify and are interested in the jobs are required to register through the portal;

The aim of the deal is to capitalise on qualified but unemployed health workers in the country.

The agreement was signed by UK Health Secretary Sajid Javid and Labour CS Simon Chelugui during President Uhuru Kenyatta’s visit to London last month.

“Our healthcare agreement will make the most of UK and Kenyan health expertise which will be beneficial to both countries, with the exchange of knowledge and training which will provide first-class healthcare,” Javid said.

Key areas of interest are improving the treatment, prevention and management of cancer in Kenya.

“Our health partnership with Kenya is 30 years old and growing stronger by the month. This new agreement on health workers allows us to share skills and expertise even further and is a fantastic opportunity for Kenyans to work in the UK,” British High Commissioner Jane Marriott said.

There are 894 Kenyans working across all roles in the NHS in England, making Kenyans the 30th largest nationality group in the NHS.

The nurses union has since welcomed the move, arguing that the deal signed between the two governments will help create employment opportunities for more than 30,000 unemployed nurses in Kenya.

Kenya National Union of Nurses secretary-general Seth Panyako said the deal will diversify the skills of nurses who are currently in practice to gain experience in international standards of health practice.

“As we welcome and support the tremendous move by the government, we urge the President to ensure terms and conditions of unemployment of nurses and other health workers in Kenya are improved to conform with the global standards,” Panyako said.

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