MAC, IELTS and all the latest international recruitment news

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Nursing and the Migration Advisory Committee 


Steve Earle, Head of Policy at the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC), met with TTM Healthcare on 5 February. Together with clients working in both the public and private sectors, we presented evidence to demonstrate the absolute necessity of nursing’s continued inclusion on the Shortage Occupation List (SOL).

Meeting with employers gave Mr Earle a much better appreciation of individual efforts to deal with shortages. However, he said that the future of nursing’s place on the SOL still requires further consideration. He asked that employers continue to submit specific, factual evidence to support their stance. Mr Earle also asked that, in such submissions, the use of too many medical terms be avoided!

Appreciating the challenges that ongoing uncertainty poses for anyone trying to plan staffing, Mr Earle indicated that, once the current review closes, nursing’s place on the SOL will not be reviewed again until 2018 or 2019.

If you have new evidence to help the MAC reach their conclusions, it should be forwarded to:
Steve Earle
Head of Policy
Migration Advisory Committee
Third Floor, Seacole Building
Home Office, 2 Marsham Sreet

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Beyond Europe: international recruitment briefings


Tuesday 15th March, 9.30-11.30am
Pioneer Suite, 3 Canal Street, Manchester, M1 3HE

Wednesday 23rd March, 12.30- 2.30pm
The Gridiron Building, One Pancras Square, London, N1C 4AG

Do you have questions about recruiting overseas? Would you like to talk to other employers who have been through the process? Maybe you would appreciate the chance to compare your own experiences seeking staff abroad? You should come to our sessions in Manchester and London this March!

Public and private healthcare employers just back from international recruitment trips will be joined by Filipino and Indian nurses working in the UK to share stories, lead discussions and answer questions.

Concerned what impact IELTS might have on your plans? An IELTS expert will be on hand to provide an overview of the language testing system to demonstrate its challenges and to illustrate the ability of structured training to overcome these to deliver successful results.

Featured speakers:

  • Dawn Pike, Director of Nursing, Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • Fiona Keeling, Head of Nursing, Outpatients & Access, Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • Filipino and Indian nurses working in the UK share their stories and perspectives
  • IELTS experts demonstrate the language testing system. 

We hope you will join us: please register to attend online here.


IELTS for EU Nurses

Healthcare Assistant

Every European nurse entering the UK now has to pass an IELTS English exam before they can register with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC). The pass mark is a Level  7 in all areas, the same standard imposed on nurses from outside Europe. However, some people fear that many European nurses will have a lower English fluency to begin with. If that is true, then they will find IELTS much more of an obstacle than their counterparts from beyond the EU and EEA.

To help our nurses to pass IELTS the first time round, without any undue delay or hardship, TTM Healthcare has developed a range of language training options. Our advice is that all nurses should begin their first six months in the UK working as Healthcare Assistants or Pre-Registration Nurses (NHS Band 3 or 4). While working, they also undertake a course of structured language training. 

Our training combined with real life, ‘on the job’ experience will give them the best possible chance of passing IELTS the first time. Once they do, they begin work as fully registered, skilled nurses with great communication skills. 

For more information about IELTS training for European nurses, please contact

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