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Migrant Social Workers

October 23, 2010

Apologies for lack of blogging – some illness has intervened.

It seems to be received wisdom that there is a shortage of social workers in the UK but social work training courses have been churning out new, qualified social workers every year now for many many, years. There are 83 approved training institutions, mostly universities, in England alone.  Currently there are 85,687 qualified social workers and 15,020 social work students registered with the GSCC. Why then the need to recruit social workers from abroad, especial into child protection work? Do other countries have surpluses of keen and able recruits and if so why do we not? Or is there a drain of UK social workers being recruited abroad?- I don’t think so.

The Guardian reports on this which rather gives the game away. The problem posed by the migration “cap” for social work recruitment is about limiting migration from non-EU countries; i.e. the old commonwealth of the USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. No cap on recruiting  Europeans. While there are issues of culture and language discriminating on that basis seems to me not to be very PC .

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