Scottish council looks abroad for recruits to cover social work shortages

A Scottish council is looking to recruit social workers from Canada, South Africa and Australia to fill a widening skills gap in the Highlands.

The council said the rising demand in family care services meant there was an increased requirement for staff.

“The pool of social workers available in Scotland will no longer meet the demand,” said social work director Harriet Dempster.

“So across different parts of Scotland people are looking creatively at what we can do about this and it is interesting we have had interest from social workers from abroad, from Canada and from Australia, to come to work in the Highlands.”

She admitted that there were some initial problems with new recruits adjusting to life in the Highlands.

“There are issues about them getting used to our legislation, but if they bring in social work skills and experience then these people are very, very welcome,” she said.

A recent report by Highland Council revealed the authority had recently increased its number of social workers from 100 to 172.

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