Filipino nurses have something to look forward to on this coming year 2012 as opportunities to work in countries such as Australia and Guam await those who will be qualified, according to the latest report by POEA.
Yesterday, December 30, 2011, POEA (Philippine Overseas Employment Administration) released a report that it is eyeing job opportunities in Australia in 2012 for nurses and skilled workers. Although Australia pales in comparison with U.S.A. in terms of popularity as a country of destination for Filipino nurses, Labor Attache Jalilo Dela Torre of the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) said the shortage of nurses in Australia is 40,000 until 2015.
During an interview with GMA News, POEA Administrator Carlos Cao, Jr. said Filipinos should take advantage of the shortage of workers in Australia which might be beneficial for Filipino nurses and construction and mining workers. In addition to that, recent estimates revealed that by 2050, 25 percent of Australia’s population of 23 million will be over 65 years old, and by then, the country will need 5.2 million skilled migrants.
Why Choose Australia?
In recent years, Philippines have witnessed a steady decline of nurses taking up NCLEX and those who aspire to work as nurses in the “land of the milk and honey”. We can attribute this phenomenon to the current retrogression being experienced in the U.S., where new American nurses are also struggling to get a job. Nonetheless, Filipino nurses still have other career options to choose from and this coming year must be an opportune time to jump start a nursing career in the land Down Under. Though the exchange rate of the Australian dollar to the Philippine peso is less, Atty. Imelda Argel, a practising Filipino lawyer and a registered migration agent based in Sydney, Australia, have listed down certain points that will enlighten those Australian nurse-wannabes out there:
a. The processing time for a working visa to Australia could be as short as six week compared to the long processing period of a working visa to the USA and the UK. If you are under 45 years old and have worked as registered nurse for a year before application for permanent residency, visa grant is generally achievable within 12 months.
b. The return airfare from Manila to Sydney is cheaper than to the USA or the UK.
c. You are allowed to include your entire family (spouse and dependent children below 25 years old) in your permanent resident visa.
d. If you are a registered nurse in the Philippines but not registered in the UK, USA, or New Zealand, you will need to first register in a State or Territory in Australia before you can apply for a working visa or permanent resident visa. As a general rule, Philippine educated nurses are required to pass an English Test, then the nursing competency test.
e. In regard to pay, your salary usually starts from A$37,700 per year and increases depending on your work experience and expertise. Most of those who have five years experience start from A$46,000.00 per year. Those with eight years of experience can earn as high a A$90,000.00 to A$100,000.00 per year with overtime pay.
According to POEA, every two minutes and 38 seconds, Australia welcomes a migrant from overseas. Australia is a multi-cultural society with 7% Asians and 2.3% aboriginal. Also, 40% of the Australian population are foreign-born or with parents overseas, it added.
Other Option: GUAM
Another good news for Filipino nurses is the fact that Guam will soon open its doors in 2012 for Filipino nurses and other skilled professionals. Two years ago, Guam Governor Felix Camacho disclosed the news that the transfer of a military base from Okinawa Japan to Guam makes the massive recruitment of foreign workers to Guam necessary.
Employment opportunities in the expanded naval hospital will also be needing medical technicians in radiology, cardio laboratories and CT scan, occupational and physical therapists, medical transcriptionists and medical administrative personnel.
Guam is an organized, unincorporated territory of the United States located in the western Pacific Ocean. It is one of five U.S. territories with an established civilian government.