The Scottish executive is to be congratulated for coming up with
the eminently sensible idea of reimbursing the student loans of
those taking a degree in social work. Students north of the border
who reach the end of the course up to their eyes in debt will be
able to claim back up to £9,000. This is a great incentive
that could really help tip the balance when people are weighing up
whether to go for a social work degree or opt for other courses
such as psychology.
The extra cash is being targeted at those who agree to work in
areas most affected by staff shortages such as children’s services.
The initiative demonstrates that the executive is really committed
to tackling the recruitment crisis by increasing the number of
people entering the profession. Investing in education also helps
build a more competent – and confident – social care workforce. So
when are we going to see the same sort of long-term thinking and
practical problem-solving in England and Wales?