The new directive from the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs came late on Wednesday. It said that from April 30 onwards, state-owned Overseas Development and Employment Promotion Consultants (ODEPC) and Roots-Norka, the agency that looks after the welfare of the Kerala diaspora, will be in-charge of the recruitment.

State Minister for Labour Shibu Baby John, under whom ODEPC operates, said with state Minister for Diaspora KC Joseph, they will hold a joint meeting with Chief Minister Oommen Chandy on Tuesday to get down to business.

"Now with this new directive, there will be a rush of nurses to the Middle East...," the nurse said, adding certifications are required on Thursday to apply to the UAE, Oman and other Gulf countries.

John informed that his department is now ready to equip the aspiring nurses with these new certifications as it has set up Kerala Academy for Skills Excellence (KASE), the first of its kind in the country.

The department has also signed up with SUT-NMC group of hospitals for setting up the KASE-Centre of Excellence in Nursing in the capital city.

"Starting in May, nurses who wish to get these certifications can join these courses which will extend up to a maximum of six months. In the centre, world class value addition to their existing skills would be provided and once they pass this, this would be a ticket to a well paying nurses job in the Middle East," added John.

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