LOCAL recruitment agencies are skeptical about a report, aired on June 22 by a local television network, that said the UK needs at least 9,000 Filipino workers.
The jobs allegedly being offered include those for civil engineers, linesmen, motor-vehicle drivers, cooks, nurses and others. The television network added report of the offer came from an official of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA).
Lito Soriano, president of the Philippine Association of Service Exporters Inc. expressed doubt about the claim, and said “that is ‘fake news’.”
“Many Filipinos in the UK have not heard of any such job offers. There are no available visas for such volume of applicants,” Soriano added on social media.
He said there is growing unease among the Filipino community on how Britain’s economy will survive the Brexit from the European Union.
Brexit is the withdrawal of the UK from the EU. The British government led by Prime Minister Theresa May is promoting Brexit despite barely surviving a snap election on June 8, claiming that divisions at Westminster risked hampering the Brexit negotiations.
Soriano added the news about the 9,000 jobs allegedly being offered in the UK has affected many Filipino workers in the Middle East.
“Many of them would like to resign and take their chances with the alleged UK jobs, although many of these workers have been accredited with the POEA by the leading licensed agencies deploying Filipinos to England.
Another industry leader, Jackson Gan, former president of the Pilipino Manpower Agencies Accredited to Taiwan, refuted statements attributed to an official of the POEA that Filipino professionals holding Professional Regulation Commission licenses are qualified to work in the UK.
“There is no reciprocal agreement between the Philippines and the UK, so any professional or journeyman wishing to work in the UK must pass the qualifying examination for his or her profession there. This is true with our nurses who have to pass three tests before being accepted as a registered nurses in the UK.”
“It is not that easy to acquire a professional job in the UK, as even Filipino workers have to pass initially a language test [that] will determine if they can work in the UK,” Gan added. “They have to pass a test for their profession before they can be issued a work permit or allowed to work temporarily in the UK for the tenure of their work contract.”
Recruitment consultant Emmanuel Geslani said there were several sweeping statements by the newscaster, like it is quite easy for professionals here in the country to acquire those high-paying jobs in the UK “as long as the applicants have experience”.
“This is a false statement, since all professionals applying for jobs in the UK have to pass licensure exams for the professions they are applying for,” Geslani added.
“To work as a civil engineer in the UK, one must have to pass a civil-engineers qualifying examination, and for every profession there is a corresponding examination that must be hurdled,” he said.
He added that every applicant in the UK has to pass an International English Language Test (IELTS).
“There is a level of English Writing and Speaking Test for the job. For nurses, the level required is Academic IELTS score of 7.0 in each skill—Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking.” Geslani noted.
It is only when an applicant has hurdled the IELTS, that he or she is qualified to take the computer-based test (CBT), which is handled by a company called Pearson Vue.
Once the applicant passes the CBT, he or she is required to submit documents for the assessment by another UK agency, processing of which may take up to three months.