Edinburgh launches recruitment drive

Edinburgh Council is set to launch a new strategy to combat the
growing crisis in the shortfall of qualified social work staff.

The council is to set up a centralised recruitment process,
appoint a dedicated employee development officer, recruit five
trainee social workers every year, introduce a bursary scheme and
advertise on the internet. The strategy was announced by the
council’s executive member for social work, councillor
Kingsley Thomas, who, as the Convention of Scottish Local
Authorities’ social work spokesperson, called for the
introduction of ‘super social workers’ in March this year.

Edinburgh is responding to a national crisis, although the
situation in Scotland is not as bad as in England and Wales.
Earlier this year, in his first annual report on social work, Angus
Skinner, the chief social work inspector, highlighted the growing
problems of social work recruitment as a priority for action. In
1995 there were 11,526 applications for entry into postgraduate
social work training while by 2000 the number had fallen to

All councils are suffering from the growing trend of more
qualified staff leaving the service than the number of qualified
entrants. Compared with other Scottish authorities, Edinburgh
Council ranks eighth out of 32, but has decided to take this
pre-emptive strategy in anticipation of the implications of the
Regulation of Care Act and the need to register all child care

Thomas said: “Everyone is looking for real improvements in
health and social care at the moment. This cannot happen without a
properly staffed and motivated social care workforce.”






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