Skills drive only dents vacancy rates

Councils’ efforts to train more social workers have only
contributed to a 1.5 per cent fall in the vacancy rate, figures
from the Social Care and Health Workforce Group have shown.

Spending by councils on training social workers went up from
£4.2m to £11m between 2001 and 2002. In the same period
the numbers studying for a Diploma in Social Work rose from 1,223
to 2,057.

But despite the average vacancy rate falling from 9.9 per cent to
8.4 per cent over the same period, vacancy rates in children’s
social work rose from 11.3 per cent to 12.6 per cent.

Bill McKitterick, chairperson of the Association of Directors of
Social Services human resources and training committee, said the
figures were “a turn in the right direction rather than a solution
to the problem”.

He said the new degree course would attract people who were
committed both to higher education and gaining a professional

The figures are from the revised Social Services Workforce Survey,
published last month.

– Report available at website

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