Graduates will be offered £15,000 to retrain as social workers, it has emerged.
Graduates in England will receive the money in a bid to attract high-fliers into the profession, the BBC has reported.
Up to 200 places will be available on the programme, starting in September. Councils in eight areas are taking part in the scheme.
It follows a raft of measures announced by the government last year, including a £58m plan to improve training and career progression for workers, after the majority of councils reported they were struggling to recruit social care professionals.
Personnel Today previously reported on how the media portrayal of the Baby P scandal was adding to the sector’s recruitment and retention problems.
Candidates switching to the social care profession under the Department for Children, Schools and Families’s (DCSF) new scheme will be paid to study for a Masters degree, which will last two years. They must have at least a 2:1 degree and experience of working with children and families.
The Children’s Workforce Development Council, mainly funded by the DCSF, will provide £15,000 for each candidate, but it will be for individual local authorities to decide how the money should be used.