Interest in ‘caring’ careers is growing according to new data released today by the Department of Health.
The national social work and social care recruitment information line has received more than 160,000 calls since May 2002, with over 40,000 calls in 2005.
Data also shows that seven in 10 of those who enquired about social care work had actually gained employment in the profession, or were looking for a suitable vacancy. In addition, more than 4,000 people started the new social work degree in 2004.
The degree, which was launched three years ago, is helping to raise standards in the social care workforce and improve the professional status of social work. The social work sector will benefit from its first intake of graduates this year.
The figures have been released as the Department of Health launches the latest phase of its national recruitment drive to encourage more people to consider a career in social care.
Research has shows that a key obstacle to recruiting social workers and social care workers is a lack of public understanding about what they do. National and local television, press and radio advertising appearing throughout February and March will illustrate the diversity and rewards of a career in social care.
Care services minister Liam Byrne said: “The aim of our campaign is to make people think seriously about social work and social care as career options. These are challenging and rewarding professions that help the most vulnerable people in the community get the most out of life in modern Britain.”