“Win-win-win situation”: Baerbock and Heil are recruiting nurses from Brazil

“win-win-win situation”
Baerbock and Heil are recruiting nurses from Brazil

Due to serious personnel problems, many nursing homes in Germany are now threatened with closure. In Brazil, on the other hand, well-trained nurses are fighting for a job. Federal Labor Minister Heil and Foreign Minister Baerbock are hoping for cooperation.

Federal Labor Minister Hubertus Heil and Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock see good opportunities to further boost the recruitment of qualified nursing staff from Brazil. “Brazilian nurses and Colombian electricians are already finding open arms in Germany. We want to expand this partnership,” said Baerbock about the beginning of the joint visit to the Brazilian capital, Brasilia. Heil explained that they wanted to “advertise Germany in Brazil as an attractive location with good working and living conditions”.

Baerbock from the Greens and Heil from the SPD arrived late Sunday evening after a flight of more than eleven hours and almost 10,000 kilometers in the country with the most populous population in Latin America, with around 215 million people. Brazil is the only country in the region with which Germany has had a strategic partnership since 2008. It is also Germany’s most important trading partner in South America.

“Everyone benefits”

The need for skilled workers in Germany is particularly high in qualified nursing professions. The association of privately operated care facilities fears a massive wave of bankruptcies in the care industry in view of the acute shortage of skilled workers, there are increasing reports of insolvencies or company closures. In Brazil, however, there is an excess of well-trained nurses, Heil said before leaving. “From this we can create a classic win-win-win situation in which everyone benefits.” Germany gets qualified specialists. Brazil benefits, “for example, because we are involved in on-site training.” The unemployment rate for nurses in Basil is ten percent.

The Minister of Labor wants to talk about expanding the recruitment of nurses during an appointment at a training center for nursing professions at the Catholic University of Brasilia (UCB), a meeting with his Brazilian colleague Luis Marinho and a visit to the Brazilian Chamber of Nursing in Cofen. According to Heils, up to 200 Brazilian nurses are already working in Germany.

UCB is the second largest university in the capital. Nursing staff with a bachelor’s degree are trained in a four-year course. A joint declaration on workers’ rights, corporate social responsibility and supply chains was planned to be signed with Marinho. The Federal Employment Agency (BA) signed an agreement with the Cofen Nursing Chamber in June 2022 to place nursing professionals, and she now looks after more than 370 Brazilian nursing applicants. The chamber has around 2.5 million members.

adaptation qualifications required

The agreement contains rules for the selection of applicants, the placement process, language acquisition and the recognition of professional qualifications. According to the federal government, there are good prospects for healthcare professions to be recognized in Germany. As a rule, however, adaptation qualifications are necessary. Such measures often took three to eight months to achieve full recognition.

The BA has been recruiting Brazilian specialists for the German labor market since 2018. According to her own statements, she is currently supervising 374 applicants from nursing professions, 43 from technical and craft professions and 42 from engineering and IT professions. According to Heil, the BA considers it possible to recruit up to 700 nurses per year.

For Baerbock, the focus of their talks should be on the relationship between the hosts and Russian President Vladimir Putin in the war of aggression against Ukraine, as well as on climate and environmental issues. In addition to a meeting with President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva’s foreign policy adviser, former Defense and Foreign Minister Celso Amorim, appointments with Vice President and Industry Minister Geraldo Alckmin, Deputy Foreign Minister Maria Laura da Roche and Environment Minister Marina Silva are on the agenda . Foreign Minister Mauro Vieira is currently not in the country. Despite differences in emphasis towards Moscow, Baerbock counts on Brazilian support in efforts to end the Russian attack on Ukraine.

Lula’s government wants “to bring Brazil’s strong voice to solving the most pressing global challenges,” she said. “We are united by the firm belief that there can only be prosperity if there is freedom and peace – even if we have different perspectives, as was the case recently with the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine.” Lula has not yet clearly sided with Ukraine in the face of Russian aggression. He is campaigning for international mediation through a “peace club” that is said to include India, Indonesia and China as well as Brazil. During a visit to China in April, Lula had caused considerable irritation in the United States and Europe by criticizing military aid from NATO and other countries to Ukraine.

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