Newly qualified social workers in Wales feel the jobs squeeze

The turnover of social work staff in Wales has slowed and it is taking longer for graduates to find work, according to the Care Council for Wales.

Picture credit: National Assembly for Wales

It is taking longer for newly qualified social workers in Wales to find jobs in social care this year, according to figures released this week by the regulator.

Of the 271 social workers to graduate from Welsh higher education institutions (HEIs) this year, 79% found employment in the social care sector – although not necessarily social work – within six months.

However, last year 80% of graduates found work in the sector within two months, according to the Care Council for Wales’ second annual report on the profile of registered social workers.

The report also found that the movement of qualified social workers between jobs has slowed down. Two out of five (40% of) social workers on the register this year have been in their current job for longer than five years, compared to 23% in 2011.

Gender imbalance

Only two out of the 79 registered social workers aged 25 or younger in Wales are men (2.5%), the figures show, rising to 9% of 25-30 year old social workers.

Between 1 June 2011 and 31 May 2012, 283 students qualified with a bachelor’s or master’s degree in social work from a Welsh HEI. The majority, 89%, were women and only 30 were men. This is higher than the 78% of women on the register as a whole.

Find out how many social work vacancies there are in your local authority

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