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UK-based Australian nurses offered £4,200 relocation costs to tempt them home

Non-Australians can also apply for scheme from Western Australian government

Non-Australians can also apply for scheme, which aims to recruit 2,800 nurses by 2023

Australian nurses working in the UK are being offered nearly £4,200 in relocation costs to tempt them back home – and applications are open to international nurses, too.

The Western Australian (WA) government is looking to recruit nurses with a minimum of 3-5 years’ experience working in intensive care, emergency nursing, perioperative care and mental health, in a bid to boost the local workforce.

‘This is a chance for nurses to come home’

It is offering to cover the cost of flights, relocation fees and the mandatory 14-day COVID-19 hotel quarantine period as it aims

Non-Australians can also apply for scheme, which aims to recruit 2,800 nurses by 2023

Incentives include the cost of the flight back to Australia. Picture: iStock

Australian nurses working in the UK are being offered nearly £4,200 in relocation costs to tempt them back home – and applications are open to international nurses, too.

The Western Australian (WA) government is looking to recruit nurses with a minimum of 3-5 years’ experience working in intensive care, emergency nursing, perioperative care and mental health, in a bid to boost the local workforce.

‘This is a chance for nurses to come home’

It is offering to cover the cost of flights, relocation fees and the mandatory 14-day COVID-19 hotel quarantine period as it aims to recruit 2,800 nurses by 2023 through local and international recruitment.

Government of Western Australia Department of Health chief nursing and midwifery officer Robina Redknap said while the priority is to encourage Australian expats to return home, applications from non-Australian nationals would also be considered.

‘Many nurses, midwives and doctors have left Western Australia to gain experience in other parts of the world,’ she told Nursing Standard.

‘This is a chance for them to come home, if they wish to do so, and work in the Western Australia health system. However, it is an open market and we will consider all applications.’

Australia offers nurses a better starting salary than England

As of March this year, there were 1,365 nurses and midwives who originally trained in Australia on the Nursing and Midwifery Council register, according to data from the regulator.

A newly qualified nurse in Western Australia earns about $63,000 AUD (£33,146) a year, according to the state’s government. This compares with the current starting salary of £25,654 for a band 5 nurse in England.

UK employers have long looked to Australia to shore up workforce gaps at home. In 2019, NHS Grampian in Scotland interviewed more than 100 newly qualified nurses at a recruitment event in Perth, the capital of Western Australia.

Yinglen Butt

Improve pay to retain nurses in the UK

RCN associate director of nursing Yinglen Butt said the UK governments must improve pay for nurses if they want to retain them.

‘Nursing needs a pay rise so people won’t leave our profession altogether or jobs they have dedicated many years to,’ she said.


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