Kochi: Dutch has suddenly become a favourite among language lovers in Kerala. There is an increased demand for Keralite nurses in European countries like Belgium. Hence, the European language is slowly spreading its roots here. Around thirty-seven nurses are all set to fly to Belgium after learning Dutch. Meanwhile, twenty-two nurses have already reached Belgium. The Overseas Development and Employment Promotion Consultants Limited (ODEPC), the state-owned recruitment agency has facilitated the recruitment of thirty-seven nurses to the North European nation. Besides, one hundred nurses would be selected for the ‘Aurora’ project, managed by ODEPC in order to recruit nurses to Belgium. The recruitment process is likely to begin by March this year.
ODEPC will be conducting this six-month-long course in association with the Lourdes Hospital in Ernakulam. The selected candidates would be trained in the Dutch language and nursing too. The training is free of cost. Moreover, the candidates would be paid a monthly stipend of Rs 11,000. The candidates who successfully complete the program here would receive six more months of training in Belgium. They could start working as soon as they pass the B2 level exam and a nursing course there. The twenty-two nurses who had flown to Belgium in March last year are registered nurses now. The nurses would get 1700 Euro (around Rs 1 lakh) as salary, in the beginning. This would go up to 2500 – 3200 Euro (Rs 2.2 – 2.8 lakh) when they become registered nurses.
More than two thousand nurses have been recruited to various foreign countries through ODEPC in the last three years. Among them, around six hundred nurses have flown to the United Kingdom.