There has been an 82 per cent increase in the number of overseas
social workers entering the UK, according to research commissioned
by the Department of Health.
Between April 2003 and May 2004 numbers rose from 1,390 to 2,524
– the largest increase recorded to date, said the deputy director
of workforce at the DoH Rob Webster.
The unpublished research by Kings College, London, looked at
overseas social workers processed by regulatory body the General
Social Care Council, which has responsibility for verifying
It found that the biggest increases are from non-EU countries,
such as India with a 156 per cent rise and Canada with a 118 per
Webster said social workers’ motives for moving to the UK were
similar to those found in other professional groups, such as an
escape from economic hardship, the opportunity for travel or
visiting family, and professional development.
He said an international recruitment campaign similar to the one
in the NHS could boost the social care workforce.