The number of people on social work courses in England rose by nearly a fifth from 2000 to 2004.
Nearly 4,800 people took social work courses in 2004-5, compared with 4,005 in 2000-1, according to the Department of Health as it launched its annual social work recruitment campaign.
There was also a 3 per cent rise in the number of social workers employed in England between 2004 and 2005.
David Behan, the DH’s director general of social care, attributed the rise in students to a trend towards choosing “ethical” careers.
“People are increasingly interested in jobs that enable them to put something back into society,” he said. “We hope the recruitment campaign will tap into that spirit.”
However, the news came just two weeks after Community Care revealed that some students were considering leaving their courses because of a new limit on travel expenses.