Global Skills Partnership Nursing in the Philippines

  • Country of destination: Germany
  • Country of origin: The Philippines
  • Sectors: Healthcare
  • Skill level: Mid-level
  • Timeline: 2020 - 2022
  • Number of beneficiaries: TBC


In 2020, the German Ministry of Health, in collaboration with the private foundation Bertelsmann Stiftung, began a new global skills partnership with the Philippines in the field of healthcare. The goal is to meet shortages of nursing professionals in Germany and create opportunities for nursing professionals from the Philippines.

Why was it started?

Like many high-income countries, Germany is suffering from a nursing shortage. The sector is projected to need 150,000 new nurses by 2025, and the need is expected to grow, given Germany’s aging population. To care for the elderly alone Germany is projected to need more than 200,000 additional nursing staff by 2030, including almost 100,000 geriatric nurses.

The World Health Organization (WHO) largely prohibits the recruiting of nurses from low- and middle-income countries. To meet the demand for caregivers in Germany without violating this policy, Germany has pursued “Triple Win” projects with many low- and middle-income countries with surpluses of health workers.

In 2020, the German Development Agency (GIZ), the German Ministry of Health, and the German private foundation Bertelsmann Stiftung began a project to integrate the German nursing curriculum into the Philippine nursing curriculum so that nurses can more easily qualify for nursing jobs in both countries.

How does it work?

The project is implementing the Global Skill Partnership model, which supports the development of a “home” track and an “away” track. Participants in the home track will receive two years of general nursing training, with additional years pursued based on the needs of the Filipino labor market. Participants in the away track will take specialist courses related to the German labor market, including an additional fifth year in Germany. They will also receive German language training up to the B1 level. A quarter of trainees are expected to participate in the away track.

In addition to these tracks, the project aims to spearhead greater investment in Filipino education and training within the Philippines. New theoretical and practical modules and a skills lab based on analysis of the differences in need between the German and Filipino labor markets will be developed. Lecturer exchanges between Germany and the Philippines will be cultivated. The long-term goal is to cultivate faster recognition of nursing qualifications in Germany, improve professional integration, and enhance general and technical skills. The project is being financed by Bertelsmann Stiftung, with the private sector financing participant-related costs such as language classes, flights, and visas.

What impact has it had?

The project has not yet begun training students. There is already interest in the model, however. The German Ministry of Health is considering using it in Mexico, Brazil, and Vietnam.