The first part of the government’s recruitment campaign to
attract people into the social work profession has been successful,
according to health minister Jacqui Smith, writes Clare
“The response that we have had in the first six weeks of the
campaign has exceeded our expectations and I am confident that we
can build on this success over the three years of the recruitment
drive,” Smith said.
The £1.5 million national newspaper and radio advertising
campaign encouraged almost 14,000 calls to the information line,
and over 11,000 people to the website.
Health secretary Alan Milburn launched the drive at the National
Social Services Conference in October, in a bid to educate the
public about social work and provide information on career
“Many people had a very negative view of social workers which
was heavily influenced by the media and did not understand what
social work entailed,” Smith said.
“With this evidence it was important to use the campaign to
promote the positive work that many social workers carry out on a
daily basis and to highlight the wide variety of situations that
social workers find themselves in,” she added.
Smith concluded that she hoped the people who requested further
information would join the profession, and help to increase the
number of social work applicants for social work training by
Hilary Simon, vice-chairperson of the ADSS human resources and
training committee, welcomed the fact that new people who had never
thought about social work as a profession were coming forward:
“What it means is positive information about social services is
hitting the streets.”
Ian Johnston, director of the British Association of Social
Work, said his worries were that some people had contacted BASW
having not been able to find out information about entering the
social work profession. The system for accessing information should
He added there was not enough emphasis being placed on getting
people back into work, who had dropped out of the social work
“We need to see the same level of investment as the campaigns
for teaching and police,” Johnston said.