Scots council urges national campaign

Glasgow Council is to resist offering incentives to attract new
social workers and instead has urged the Scottish executive to
co-ordinate an effective national recruitment drive.

The council was responding to reports in the Scottish press that it
was to offer salary incentives to retain experienced social workers
and attract new graduates. An increasing number of local
authorities are offering “golden hellos” of up to £2,000,
extra holidays and a higher starting salary.

But Glasgow’s director of social services, Ronnie O’Connor, has
advised the council that to go down that road would simply
exacerbate the problem. He urged that all councils should resist
the temptation to compete with each other as that would result in
more social workers moving between authorities while the overall
shortfall would remain the same.

In April, Cathy Jamieson, minister for education and young people
in the Scottish assembly, announced that the executive would be
undertaking a drive to attract more people into social work (page
11, 25 April). The package included £3.5m already allocated to
social work departments for training and supporting front-line
staff as well as a recruitment and awareness campaign through the

Jamieson said that executive funding to councils had recruited an
extra 100 social workers in the year 2001-2. Despite this, there
are still 350 vacancies in the social work sector with an
additional 5 per cent of home care posts being unfilled.

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