An Aberdeen-based recruitment entrepreneur is celebrating a milestone of securing NHS jobs for 10,000 nurses from overseas.
Febin Cyriac, who hails from Cochin, in south India, was himself an immigrant nurse.
After arriving in Britain his initial goal was to help his community contacts back home secure “fair and trustworthy” nursing jobs abroad.
Launched in 2014, the business employs more than 100 people – mainly in India but also a growing number at its head office in Aberdeen.
It turns over in excess of £20 million a year. All profits are reinvested into further growth.
Envertiz now has an office in Cochin, India, where headhunting events, training, and visa processing is handled.
Every week scores of Envertiz nurses arrive at UK airports to start their new careers.
Unlocking the door
Mr Cyriac, 36, helped change laws in Britain to make it easier for them to work here.
English language proficiency barriers had previously prevented many highly skilled overseas nurses from coming to support the NHS.
Envertiz’s founder and chief executive said: “It made no sense that nurses needed the highest levels of hugely technical English, then to be placed in an Aberdeen care home, for example, only to struggle with the strong local dialect and leaving everyone involved lost in translation.
“What was really needed was a good degree of conversational English and common understanding.”
Mr Cyriac took matters into his own hands in 2014 when he started a petition, with support from the Belfast-based Unison union and managed to gain 6,000 signatures.
The petition lobbied the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) to allow a “realistic” score for English language proficiency.
An organisation called The 3million – representing the UK’s three million EU workers – took up the cause in 2015 as the influx of nurses from overseas continued to plummet.
A successful lobbying campaign, with Mr Cyriac playing a key role, led to NMC relaxing the rules.
It made no sense that nurses needed the highest levels of hugely technical English, then to be placed in an Aberdeen care home, for example, only to struggle with the strong local dialect and leaving everyone involved lost in translation.”
Febin Cyriac, chief executive, Envertiz
Despite the pandemic, Envertiz has thrived over the past three years, achieving the milestone of recruiting 10,000-plus nurses – mostly from India – for more than 100 NHS trusts.
Mr Cyriac said: “We’re proud of what we’ve achieved for aspiring nurses looking to broaden their prospects overseas, at the same time as helping the UK fill many crucial nursing roles – not least at a time of urgent need.
“My aspiration though, is for countries to recognise the availability of healthcare professionals is a global problem which can only be solved by sharing knowledge, best practice, cooperation and a recognition that it’s an international community.
“We will continue our efforts to lower red tape and encourage the rise of a global mobile healthcare workforce.”
Mr Cyriac’s own career is built on nursing qualifications gained in India.
He worked in a Mumbai hospital before moving to the UK to complete a nursing degree at East London University.
He went on to work in private sector nursing homes and the prison service.
During this time he called on his own experiences to help others emulate his employment success, sharing presentations on NMC registration, and living and working in the UK.
Subsequent roles working for a Croydon-based nursing agency brought him north to Aberdeen, where he learned more about the challenges of nursing supply in the UK.