Koblenz University of Applied Sciences in Germany is partnering with African institutions to train 5,000 nurses from East Africa annually, under a scheme to address healthcare worker shortages.
During the project’s pilot phase, Kenya-based Equip Africa Institute, a technical institution affiliated with Mount Kenya University, will recruit and train 60 nursing professionals beginning in January 2023.
Upon completion, trainees will be awarded a German healthcare assistant certificate before undergoing a three-year apprenticeship in Germany.
“The aim of this project is to investigate what kind of structures and processes would have to be established in order to annually prepare 5.000 young people in East Africa for an apprenticeship as a nurse in Germany,” the program’s introductory note states.
“In particular, we address the questions on how to select, and how to prepare the participants in terms of language and intercultural skills as well basic nursing skills so that the participants of the programme will not only successfully complete their training in Germany but also feel at home in Germany – both professionally and personally.”
To be eligible for the program, candidates must hold secondary education qualifications above KCSE C+ and possess a German language level B2-proficiency certificate. In addition, they must pass an aptitude test administered by Arbquest, a psychometric testing company. Those with qualifications below KCSE C+ may also be considered based on German language proficiency, according to a call for students by Equip Africa.
“Given our initial research, we are quite confident of receiving a sufficient number of applications and there will be two intakes per year,” said Christian Lebrenz, the program’s coordinator.
Those who successfully complete the program are guaranteed an apprenticeship at a German healthcare institution and hospitals will ensure they receive a visa as well as a work permit, Lebrenz explained.
“Hospitals hire apprentices with the intention of retaining these people once they finish their apprenticeship”
“We are planning to take in students twice a year. Those that do not have the required German B2 certificate at this point can use the time until the next intake in September 2023 to bring their German language skills to the necessary level,” he told The PIE News.
“Hospitals hire apprentices with the intention of retaining these people once they finish their apprenticeship. In this case apprenticeships are a tool for hiring people on a permanent basis,” he explained.
“The choice of East Africa was based on the analysis of the population size, GDP per capita, demographic dynamics and the education system. Based on these factors, chances of finding a sufficiently large pool of people interested in working in Germany were deemed very favourable.”