26 Jul Update on the Activities of our New Brand Uniteam Healthcare Services
In our December 2021 edition of UM News we introduced a new brand under the Uniteam Group of Companies umbrella: Uniteam Healthcare Services.
Due to the demographic structure in Germany, the demand for qualified healthcare professionals is steadily growing and it has become difficult for employers in the healthcare sector to fill vacant positions with candidates recruited on the national market. We identified a business opportunity in that recruitment challenge and thought of ways to attract interested international candidates to work in this profession.
The first idea was to find candidates who are already qualified as healthcare professionals in their home country and to offer them intensive German language training before coming to Germany. Once they have successfully passed their German language exam, they can apply for a German visa, take part in a vocational add-on training course for eight to nine months in Germany to close any possible gaps between their national curriculum and the German qualification requirements, and then pass their final exam as qualified healthcare professional in Germany.
For Myanmar though, this was not an option. The World Health Organization (WHO) has stipulated in their code of practice, to which Germany has subscribed as well, not to recruit qualified healthcare professionals from countries whose own healthcare system still needs such workers in their own country.
Despite the WHO restriction we were approached by several Myanmar applicants who were asking whether there is any other way to get employment in the German healthcare sector on the basis that they already speak German at a good level but have no previous on-the-job knowledge. After investigating with the German authorities it was confirmed that applicants who can prove a solid level of German language skills might start a three-year apprenticeship programme together with other German apprentices and pass their final examination as healthcare professional in Germany. This would even benefit a country like Myanmar in the long term as some of the apprentices might later decide to return to their home country to share their acquired knowledge and strengthen the national healthcare sector.
There was an overwhelming response to our announcements on social media and from a group of more than 100 interested applicants we shortlisted the most promising candidates. In the end we managed to line up a group of 30 for job interviews with a potential German employer. Twenty-three applicants successfully passed the entry interview and are now completing all the necessary formali- ties to start their apprenticeship programme as healthcare professional (Pflegefachkraft) in Germany.
The employer offered a three-month familiarisation and acculturation programme combined with further intensive German training before the actual on-the-job apprentice- ship training starts. This will help to ensure that the group is well integrated in their clinic team and gets the necessary support with day-to-day routines when starting a new life in a foreign country.
We are very excited by this positive development and we strongly believe that with their characteristics formed by the Myanmar culture (respect for the elderly, patience and willingness to help others in need) this first group of applicants will make a successful start.
If on the basis of positive experiences made with this pilot project we can also convince other German employers in the healthcare sector to try Myanmar nationals within their teams, this could open the door for a bright future in Germany for other applicants to follow.
All selected candidates are highly motivated to start a new professional career in the German healthcare sector and the representatives of the German employer were impressed by the good level of German spoken by the interviewed group. Most of the applicants have graduated with a Bachelor’s or even Master’s degree in the German language from either the Yangon or Mandalay University of Foreign Languages.
Uniteam Training is now considering starting an in-house German language training programme for interested candidates who are not yet speaking German to the required B2 certificate level. Besides learning the language, this programme would include cultural awareness training and role-play to boost the candidates’ confidence in trying their luck with a job interview.
We do hope that we can select another batch of candidates this year still to create a talent pipeline for a continuous supply of apprentices to interested German employers. The Uniteam Healthcare Services team wishes all the lucky selected candidates a good start in Germany. We shall monitor their progress closely and will keep our readers updated.
Capt. Thomas Reppenhagen, Sales and Client Relations Director