Recruiting Trainees from Viet Nam (Triple Win Nurses)

  • Country of destination: Germany
  • Country of origin: Vietnam
  • Sectors: Healthcare
  • Skill level: Mid-level
  • Timeline: 2019 - 2023
  • Number of beneficiaries: 350


Germany is planning to bring 150 Vietnamese nursing trainees a year to Germany as part of its Triple Win approach to nursing recruitment. The project builds on two earlier pilots commissioned by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi). Recruitment and preparation of Vietnamese nursing trainees through Triple Win are funded by participating hospitals and nursing homes.

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 active recruitment of nurses from low- and middle-income countries with health worker shortages. Germany negotiated a cooperation agreement with Vietnam to train nurses with limited experience in nursing or related fields with preparatory courses in Vietnam and traineeships within Germany, as a way to increase the stock of skilled nurses at German clinics. Receiving general nursing training in Germany enables graduates to work in various fields of nursing in Germany or Vietnam.

How does it work?

Applicants must be Vietnamese citizens between the ages of 18 and 35 who have a high-school diploma, completed at least one year of college or university in a course relevant to the nursing sector, and are in good health. Funding is provided to Vietnamese training

institutions to support the roll-out of a 12-month course that includes courses in German and intercultural training. After passing their language certification, the trainees are brought to Germany to begin their three-year nursing apprenticeship at German hospitals or nursing homes. After arrival, the German Development Agency (GIZ) aids their integration. Graduates are encouraged to remain with their original employers but are free to join other hospitals or care homes as nurses. The project is a collaboration by GIZ, the German Federal Employment Agency’s International Placement Service (ZAV) and the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs in Vietnam. It is based on the concept of the “Triple Win”, which aims to create benefits for Vietnam, Germany, and the trainees.

What impact has it had?

More than 350 migrants came to Germany under this pilot. In a GIZ survey, 75 percent of the respondents (former participants) stated that they “wished to work in Germany for the next 10 years or more.” Employers, training organizations, and participants have noted “great satisfaction” with the program.