Minister admits executive slow to tackle recruitment crisis

minister for education and young people admitted the Scottish executive has
been slow to address the country’s acute social work recruitment problems.

Cathy Jamieson said the executive was now eager to improve the situation in
children’s services especially.

have not made progress as quickly as we’d have liked in improving workforce
issues. But I have made it clear we want to catch up,” she told the annual
Association of Directors of Social Work conference in Dunblane.

acknowledged there had been criticism of the time taken to take action.

announced an action plan last month to address the number of vacancies in
social work posts, which she said totalled 350, with a 5 per cent vacancy rate
in home care posts.

said the action plan was devised to tackle retention as well as recruitment

new honours degree qualification would help to attract more students to the
profession, she said. A project delivery group would recommend ways of finding
a balance between the need to provide both generic and specialised training for
newly qualified staff.

has commissioned an economic analysis to look in particular at children’s
services in Scotland, where the most serious recruitment problems lie.

also described the executive’s efforts to improve “patchy” support services for
looked after children, and admitted that not all schools have a teacher
dedicated to ensuring the special needs of looked after children are catered

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