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Relief for healthcare assistants in Ireland, government releases notification

Dublin: The Irish government has issued an official notice clarifying that the mandatory Level 5 course for health care assistants working in Ireland to renew their work permit (QQI) does not apply to those who have already completed a higher qualification than the (QQI) Level 5 course.

Yesterday, the Department of Enterprise published a clarification notice and a revised application form to be submitted for work permit renewal.

In addition, an assessment form has been introduced to determine whether newly hired nurses have the skills, experience, and knowledge to perform the role in comparison to QQI Level 5 qualified staff members.

In order to renew a work permit in Ireland, the previous government requirement was that you must have completed a Level 5 (QQI) course within two years of working as a healthcare assistant. But for most of the foreign workers, including those from India, A Keralite-led group of healthcare assistants has been fighting for the last three months to convince them that they have higher educational qualifications than the (QQI) Level 5 course.

Over 900 members of a group called Overseas Health and Home Care in Ireland, formed under the leadership of Irish Malayali Chief Editor Reji C. Jacob, who noticed the suffering of hundreds of newly arrived carers in Ireland, have won a historically significant favorable position through the parliament through the legendary fight for overseas care workers. With the active support of Shalbin Joseph (NMBI Board of Director member), this issue was brought to the attention of all TDs in the country.

TDs also came forward for carers when the group formed to expose the false propaganda of the course operators that new carers in the country (QQI) should do the level 5 course.

Non-EEA nationals from outside Europe can now apply for a work permit in Ireland to work as a healthcare assistant. Within two years of employment, all healthcare assistants must achieve QQI level 5. They also do not require language proficiency exams like IELTS or OET.

The Ministry of Enterprises, on the other hand, has stated that QQI Level 5 will not apply to employees who have been admitted to the role of Healthcare Assistant (HCA) and are highly qualified with prior experience in the care industry. Approximately 80% of the healthcare assistants currently arriving in Ireland are nurses with a QQI level 6 or higher qualification.

The leaders of the Overseas Health and Home care’s in IRELAND group, Bineesh Joseph (Letterkenny), Libin Baby Thetayil (New Castle West), and Preeti Unni (Kilcock) said that they would like to thank everyone who has cooperated with them so that the legal transition can be made in a beneficial way for the 3,000 health care assistants who have come to Ireland. They also stated that the group will continue to work towards finding a sustainable and permanent solution to the family reunification issue.

The notification published by the government yesterday: https://enterprise.gov.ie/en/publications/renewal-of-employment-permit-health-care-assistant.html

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